Can Honey Go Bad? How Long Does Bee Honey Keep?

Can honey go bad? Or how long does honey keep? All information about the shelf life of the natural product.

The leaves are falling outside, it’s raining and it’s getting cold – high time to make yourself comfortable inside. What shouldn’t be missing? Hot tea with honey. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also healthy. But can honey also go bad? Or how long does it keep, especially once it’s open? All information about the shelf life of the natural product.

Can honey go bad? How long does bee honey keep?

Honey is just like other foods, depending on how it is stored, it has a long or short shelf life. Since 2004, beekeepers have therefore also had to provide honey jars with a best-before date. According to the Honey Ordinance, this provides for two years from the time of bottling.

But even that is only a rough guideline and the bee product is not immediately spoiled afterward. Storage plays a big role here.

A study by the German Beekeepers’ Association even showed that honey retains its specific properties for up to three and a half years if it is tightly sealed and stored at the right temperature.

Why does honey keep for so long?

Bee honey has a long shelf life for natural food with no additives added. This is mainly due to its ingredients. The natural product has a high sugar content and only a low water content. In high-quality honey, the water content is less than 18 percent. This low-water composition is a good guarantee of durability.

Honey also contains other antimicrobial substances such as the enzyme glucose oxidase. This forms hydrogen, which in turn has a germicidal effect. Honey also contains phenolic acid, flavonoids, and protein-like components and their antimicrobial effect ensures long shelf life.

A low pH value, which makes honey so digestible, also protects it from germs.

Preserving honey: the best way to store it

To have some of the valuable sweeteners for as long as possible, the same applies to honey, the right storage makes the difference.

You should pay attention to a dark and dry storage place. The temperature at which honey is stored is also particularly important. 15 degrees is the optimum here. In no case higher than 18 degrees. There is no harm in storing honey in the refrigerator, but it is not strictly recommended.

If the honey jar has already been opened, it is even more important that it is closed tightly again. Because honey is high in sugar, it is hygroscopic, meaning it attracts water. If the jar is not properly closed, the honey then draws the water out of the air, its water content increases and it spoils more quickly.

Honey can therefore go bad after opening if stored incorrectly, but if stored correctly, the natural product can be kept for a very long time.

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