Welcome, Guest

Author Topic: How long DOES honey last?  (Read 27472 times)

Offline twb

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 276
  • Gender: Male
How long DOES honey last?
« on: November 13, 2008, 09:08:53 PM »
Lots of variables here I am sure.  I just returned from the Nat'l Honey board site and they say generally two years depending on many variables.  But, at a bkeepers mtg it was stated honey does not spoil (provided it is 18% or less water content).  And was not there a recent find of honey from the ancient Egyptians and it was still good?  I'd like to get this question answered properly because I desire to give the right information to my customers and when giving honey bee educational talks.  Recent reading has made me question what I have been telling people.  Does crystallization put the deterioration process on hold or speed it up?  Too many questions at once  :).  Thanks for your thoughts.
"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."  Proverbs 16:24

Sincerely,
TWB

Offline pdmattox

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1119
  • Gender: Male
    • October bend Rv Park
Re: How long DOES honey last?
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2008, 11:13:48 PM »
Sealed air tight in a container that light could not enter kept at a warm steady temperature it will last like the Egyptian honey did. Let it get cool it will crystallize and some honey varieties will do this faster than others. Leave it where the light can hit it than it will turn dark. I have a honey bear on the counter from my very first harvest back in 2006 that was a little lighter than the one in your avatar that is now very dark. 

Offline bmacior

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 169
  • Gender: Female
Re: How long DOES honey last?
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2008, 11:30:35 PM »
Quote
And was not there a recent find of honey from the ancient Egyptians and it was still good?

That's what I've heard, but cannot find any professional documentation that it was tasted and found to be edible.  And according to the media, science proved bumble bees can't fly.

Offline Scadsobees

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 3198
  • Gender: Male
  • Best use of smileys in a post award.
Re: How long DOES honey last?
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2008, 10:02:49 AM »
I don't think that honey ever really goes "bad" any more than sugar does.  It does change, getting more of the HMF over time which while bad for bees doesn't affect us.

http://www.airborne.co.nz/HMF.html

I don't worry about it.  If it is around I'll eat it, but thankfully my own is usally gone in less than a year so it isn't a worry.

Haven't had a chance to try ancient Egyptian honey, and probably won't be around to try my honey in 2000 years, so that don't bother me much either.

Rick
Rick

Offline deantn

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 87
  • Gender: Male
Re: How long DOES honey last?
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2008, 10:21:56 AM »
I personally have some honey that is over twenty years old and still using it. It is crystallize but after a few minutes in hot water it is back to a nice dark honey. Use it all the time for cooking and adding to coffee and tea. Had to feed a few quarts of it to some bees a couple of years ago that I received in Oct and they did fine all winter. Still doing really good and have produced  about 20 gallons of honey in the past couple of years for us.

Offline danno

  • Super Bee
  • *****
  • Posts: 2283
  • Gender: Male
Re: How long DOES honey last?
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2008, 03:49:29 PM »
heres a link to alot of info

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey

Offline Shawn

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1217
  • Gender: Male
Re: How long DOES honey last?
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2008, 05:39:40 PM »
I guess I dont worry about it because we eat the honey faster than we can get it.

Offline Michael Bush

  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 14159
  • Gender: Male
    • bushfarms.com
Re: How long DOES honey last?
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2008, 08:32:32 PM »
Mine usually doesn't last long.  But it keeps fine.  :)  It should keep forever if it doesn't get dirty or wet.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline twb

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 276
  • Gender: Male
Re: How long DOES honey last?
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2008, 09:47:48 PM »
Thanks for the responses and links.  Interesting reading.  I find that, although related, honey bees, beeswax, and honey are each fascinating by themselves.

So, if you have honey bottled for sale and you know you will not need it for, say, six months are you going to let it crystallize until needed and then reliquify or do you keep reliquifying each time it crystallizes?  Does it spoil sooner in its crystallized state or in its liquid state?
"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."  Proverbs 16:24

Sincerely,
TWB

Offline rdy-b

  • Super Bee
  • *****
  • Posts: 2234
Re: How long DOES honey last?
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2008, 09:59:15 PM »
crystalized Honey will not ferment so storing crystalized honey is good -just re-qualify it before sale -weather its drums,pails,or jars-nothing will go bad if it stays crystalized -RDY-B