View Full Version : What to do with 30 year old honey

10-25-2010, 05:29 PM
I was finishing up extracting my fall honey and I found about 50 gallons of honey that is about 30 years old. (in the basement not my hive):D. Is there anything that can be done with it and how can I tell if it is safe? Most of it is very dark. and still smells like honey maybe a little like hoarhound or maybe goldenrod. I just hate to see that much honey and have nothing to do with it. It was extracted by my grandfather in his early days of bee keeping, I'm not sure why he is keeping it.:s

10-25-2010, 05:38 PM
Do you have a refractor to test the moisture content to see if it might have fermented? Is it bubbly?

If not, how'd he seal it and keep it from crystallizing?? Sounds like your grandfather knew a trick or two if he packaged honey 30 years ago that's still good!

10-25-2010, 05:45 PM
just fed my bees some honey my father-in-law made in the early 70s had to heat it up some and it too was real dark and had a off taste.

10-25-2010, 06:08 PM
I don't have a honey refractor but it isn't bubbly. it is very thick and doesn't look like it is crystallized. I had some honey do that last year and this looks nothing like it. He has talked about times that he has gotten very dark honey out of his hives but this looks like molasses.

10-25-2010, 06:32 PM
honey does get darker with age but if moisture dont get to it , it will last for ever if it turns to sugar just heat slowly , feed it to the bees if you dont think it is safe, the only thing I can think of is rust from the barrel.I turun over a barrel one time in my bee house used a dust pan and retrievedmost of it ,feed that to my bees , used a paint brush toput it in drawn cone. good luck rock.

10-25-2010, 06:51 PM
Maybe your grandfather could of heated up the honey sometime during the 50yrs because the honey crystallized. They say honey will last a long time. Just imagine if that honey could talk, i bet it would have alot of interesting stories....:D

The Honey Householder
10-25-2010, 07:32 PM
The price for that honey 30 years ago would have been right around $.32-.34 a lb. Even dark honey is selling for $1.30 a lb today. These are bulk prices in the barrel. I only wish I had my honey from even five years ago. Honey price five years ago was at $.89, and now $1.85.

The Retierment honey!!!!:thumbsup:

10-25-2010, 08:45 PM
I shouldnt even be posting cause Im not sure but I think the reason it is dark has something to do with the enzymes in the honey. Something like they keep doing whatever enzymes do and it turns the honey dark and it taste awful. Now if the honey had been heated to the 150 f range and kept awhile there,it would have killed alot of the enzymes. Thats why honey you get for the grocery store has a real long shelf life. My wifes grandfather use to get sourwood every year from the hills and after he passed away his daughter tried it and it was about the worst tasting stuff I have ever put in my mouth. I did a little searching on the internet and found out about the enzymes. It did have a real strong horehound smell. Sorry I cant remember any more details.

10-25-2010, 10:35 PM
That is awesome...

10-26-2010, 03:40 AM
Make mead. :)

10-26-2010, 03:44 AM
Just as an aside, the oldest human made food ever found, that was judged still edible, was in a 4,000 year old tomb in Egypt, it was honeycakes.

10-26-2010, 07:17 PM
Bear Bait

10-26-2010, 07:59 PM
Bottle it and sell it as vintage honey. :D

Laurence Hope
10-26-2010, 10:07 PM
Liquefy it and bottle it in 1 lb bottles. Offer it for sale to the beesource members. That way, we can show our customers that honey is good forever with a taste.
I'll sign up for the first bottle.

10-26-2010, 10:09 PM
Bottle it and sell it as vintage honey. :D

That's really not a bad idea. People would purchase it just out of curiousity and would pay a premium to try it.

I got some dark honey this year from a cutout. It too tasted somewhat like molasses. It's not the first time I have eaten dark honey that had that taste. It's possible the darkness and taste have more to do with the minerals in the ground that are picked up in the nectar.

Beaver Dam
10-26-2010, 10:23 PM
I'll put it up against some I cut out last Sat. A dark honey,a first taste "a bite" and then a great btast I havent had in years.

Dancing Bee Apiary
10-26-2010, 10:30 PM
We have honey that has been in the family about 40 years. There is about 5 gallons left. It was forgot for 30 years and then about ten years ago my brother found it in the basement and bottled a jar as a gift for my wife. It is crystallized hard as a rock, lightish colored, and delicious. Now it comes out every once in awhile and we sample some vintage honey.
So we just keep it and try it out every once in a while. Hope its around long enough; maybe I'll get the chance to try some 100 year old honey.

10-27-2010, 12:43 AM
I too would love to have some of that 30 year old honey. If you do decide that it is edible, please consider selling some to me. Just one pound. I know it's probably not worth the hassle but it sure would be a pleasure to try some. In return I'll send you a pound of mine to try. Mine is not "Vintage" but it is very tasty.

10-27-2010, 04:09 AM
I have a few quarts of Buckwheat honey that is well over 10 years old, still liquid, very dark, and for me I do not like the tast or smell. Also; have a few quarts that came from a tree some friends had cut for fire wood a couple of years ago, it is dark, still liquid, looks, smells and tasts very good. Have NO idea what the gals were colledting.

I can understand different colors and smells of honey, what I do not understand is why some honey crystalizes and other honey does not :scratch:

10-27-2010, 07:17 AM
I can understand different colors and smells of honey, what I do not understand is why some honey crystalizes and other honey does not :scratch:

Honey crystalizes based on the type of nectar brought back from the flowers. Some nectar crystalizes very quickly others almost never crystalize. I think it has something to do with the type of sugar that is in the nectar and possibly the minerals that are in the nectar.

I have read about it in some detail but I can't remember where or when.

10-27-2010, 08:59 AM
My wife’s grandfather was a beek which added to my decision to make it my favorite hobby. Some of his honey has been on a shelf in a dark room in the basement for over 30 years. It is dark and crystallized. He used everything to jar his honey, jars from peanut butter, molasses, oj.... For those of you who are concerned about the taste, here is an idea. My wife read that the old crystallized honey is a great exfoliate and moisturizer. So, occasionally, she'll bring it in the shower, grab a handful, rub it all over her legs to exfoliate and moisturize. The hot water rinses it off and I can tell you first hand, it does the job.

Mountain Homestead
10-27-2010, 11:03 AM
And it makes her sweeter too... :)