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egyptian beekeeping

Honey, thousands of years old, has been found in ancient pyramids and other hiding places.

And the amazing part is that the honey has been untouched by time and still good to eat!!  So the question is – Does honey go bad or spoil?  Before I answer that, let’s look at some of the qualities of honey.

Food usually goes bad due to fungal and bacterial activity.  Most of these are destroyed when it comes in contact with honey because:

•Honey has highly saturated sugars.  This makes it hygroscopic, meaning it attracts moisture from the air (that’ why it’s an excellent moisturizer).  Honey kills bacteria and fungi by drawing moisture from their cells; thus they are dehydrated.  This is why saturated sugar solutions are used to treat wounds and burns.

•Honey is acidic; therefore inhibits the growth of bacteria.

•Honey produces hydrogen peroxide.  It has the ability to produce very small amounts of hydrogen peroxide over a long period of time.   Because the hydrogen peroxide is slowly released, honey is excellent in fighting bacteria.

honey pitcher

Does Temperature Affect Honey?

Temperature does play a part in the quality of your honey.  If your honey is processed, it should be stored between 65-75 °F (19-24 °C). Honey can occasionally be exposed to higher temperatures, but it is not recommended.  You should store your honey below 49°F (9°C).

How Can I Protect My Honey From Moisture?

You should make sure your container is air tight to protect it from moisture.

Why Are There Crystals In My Honey?

Do you ever see crystals, or grainy formations, in your honey?  Don’t be alarmed.  This is a natural process. The crystals may be small, large, sandy or grainy.  Some types of honey will stay in a liquid form, but others will form crystals in a month or so.

This does not mean your honey has gone bad.  It doesn’t affect the quality of the honey, either.   In fact, some people love their honey this way.  If you want to remove  the crystals, just put your jar in a bowl of warm (not boiling) water until it goes back liquid again.

honey with biscuits

How Should I Store My Honey?

Do you need to refrigerate your honey?  No, honey does not need refrigeration.   This is one of the fascinating qualities of honey that helps it survive in excellent shape after thousands of years.  Refrigeration actually speeds up the crystallization process.  Store your honey in a pantry or shelf away from sunlight or extremes in heat or cold.


So, there you have it.  Now you have the answer to the question, “Does honey go bad?’   Once again, this information extols the amazing qualities of this sweet, humble food.  What other product can you think of that has all these qualities?

The next time you drizzle honey over your hot buttered biscuit or you use  it in a homemade moisturizer, remember how wonderful this gift of honey is and how it really sweetens our lives!



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