Can Honey Spoil?
Raw honey does not have a “best before” date. How long the honey stays fresh is entirely dependent on storage conditions. Raw honey will remain delicious at room temperature (20-30°C) for several weeks. However, the honey will very slowly darken over time (weeks to months) at room temperature. Raw honey often contains natural yeasts that can cause honey to ferment as the honey absorbs moisture from the air. The rate that this happens depends on temperature and humidity and varies from as rapidly as several weeks at temperatures of 25°C and above to many months in the refrigerator (~2°C – 10°C) to indefinitely in a freezer (<0°C). Fermented honey can be identified by a darker colour, foamy bubbles on the surface, a “yeasty” odor and a sour taste. Note that eating fermented honey poses absolutely no health risk, but many people find the sour taste unpleasant.
Why is this honey darker/lighter than my last jar?
We don’t batch or blend our honey, so the color depends on many factors, the biggest being the exact blend of flowers that contributed to the honey in your jar. All of our honey is naturally white, with small variations. However, if stored in a warm environment, over time (weeks to months depending on the temperature) the color will darken. The honey will retain its white color for many months in the refrigerator and years (to indefinitely) in the freezer. Note that the color change itself does not affect the flavor or texture of the honey – if it’s not fermenting it should be perfectly enjoyable to eat.
Why does this jar seem harder than my last jar?
We do not mix or batch our honey. We take the honey from the beehive, extract it from the honey comb, spin and strain off the wax, and get it into jars. It is a living, straight-from-the-farm food so will have some variance from lot to lot and from year to year. If your honey is at room temperature and seems a little firm, disturb or stir it with a spoon or a knife and it should become more spreadable.
Why does my honey have some small dark specs on the top of the jar?
Wendell Estate Honey is strained to organic standards so may have small pieces of beeswax, clumps of bee pollen or propolis. Bee pollen is healthy: it is collected from flowers and contains natural vitamins, proteins and minerals. Bee propolis is made by bees from tree and plant resins (black poplar in our area) and used as a glue by bees to strengthen their hives and plug drafty holes. Propolis is commonly collected, sold and eaten as a health supplement. Beeswax simply passes harmlessly through your body without being digested.
How do I store my honey?
Store your Wendell Estate Honey cool and dark…cold room or refrigerator are good, freezer is best…BUT keep the honey that you will use over a short period of time (a few weeks) at room temperature so that it will be soft and spreadable.