Did you know that edible honey was found in one of the pharaoh’s tombs in Egypt? I’m not sure if I would have tried it, but it is a fact that honey can last for a long time.
In fact, honeycomb and its raw honey are pretty much indestructible and just about the most amenable foodstuff on the planet!
For more details about how long a honeycomb can last and what it offers, this is the place to be.
How Long is Honeycomb Good For?
Honeycomb can literally last just about forever. Food can only spoil if there is either bacterial action or microorganisms can attach themselves to something. Honey contains a lot of sugar and no water, which means that bacteria cannot grow. In addition to this, it contains enzymes that are antibacterial and antimicrobial. The presence of these means that the honey is good for a long time.
What is Honeycomb?
Honeycomb is a ‘frame’ in which honey is stored. It is an integral part of a beehive. The comb is made from beeswax. It consists of thousands of individual cells that are hexagonally shaped. The honey is kept in these cells.
Honey is a fairly thick, sweet and sticky substance made by bees from nectar they gather from flowers. In the hive, the nectar is fanned by the bees’ wings, which reduces the moisture content. Honey also contains a number of other elements, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants.
The Long Life of Honeycomb
Honeycomb is pretty unique, because it doesn’t go off and can literally last for just about forever. Reportedly, honey was found during the excavation of a tomb in Egypt. It was dated at 3000 years old and was still edible.
Honey contains enzymes which give it antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. These protect the honey from being ‘attacked’ by micro-organisms, which are responsible for food going off. This means that honey has a very long life. In fact, honey is practically eternal.
Another property that honey has is that is very viscous and contains just about no water, which means that bacteria can’t survive in it. With no micro-organisms acting in honey, it can’t spoil and will last for a very long time. If there are any bacteria that do happen to get into the honeycomb, then the acidity of the honey will kill them off.
The clue to keeping honeycomb is to store it correctly. This can add to how long it is good for eating.
The Effect of Beeswax on Honey
A proper honeycomb consists of the beeswax frame and the honey itself. The presence of beeswax can cause the raw honey to crystallize quite quickly. This is because crystals may form on the beeswax, which will then be followed by other crystals being formed.
Using Old Honeycomb
Honeycomb that has ‘past its sell-by date’ can be eaten, because the date is just a guide. If the honeycomb has not been stored correctly, specifically if moisture has got into it, some of the antimicrobial properties can be destroyed and it may not be as beneficial.
In essence, though, even an old honeycomb that has lost some of its quality is still edible.
Honeycomb should be stored in an air-tight container in a neutral space that is around room temperature (68 °F / 20 °C).
Don’t put the container in direct sunlight, because the heat may begin to melt the beeswax. You must also not put the container in the fridge, because that will cause it to crystallise and the honey will be a bit grainy.
Keeping the container of honeycomb on the kitchen counter, out of the sunlight, is the best option.
You can freeze honeycomb for up to one year. You must make sure it is in a container that is tightly sealed. In fact, wrap the honeycomb in plastic wrap and then put it into an airtight container. Then put the container in the freezer.
It is important that you keep the honeycomb away from any water or other moisture.
If you store the honeycomb on its side in a container, then the honey will slowly ooze out of the beeswax. This is great if you want to eat the raw honey, but don’t want the wax.
What you can do is to put an upside down plastic bowl in a container, then put the honeycomb on top of it. The raw honey will ooze down from the comb itself and gather at the bottom of the container. This means you can enjoy the honey without the comb.
Benefits of Honeycomb
Honey contains enzymes that give it antibacterial and antimicrobial qualities. These make it beneficial to your health and it can be used to clear infection. In fact, if you have a wound and don’t have anything to put on it to prevent or clear up an infection, grab for the honeycomb.
Honey also contains a number of antioxidants and can be beneficial in reducing the risk of several life-threatening conditions, such as heart disease and a decline in the immune system. It can also be used to help to heal inflammatory processes.
The comb of the honeycomb is made of beeswax, which contains long chain fatty acids. These have various advantages for the body: they are thought to help lower cholesterol, help prevent stomach ulcers and to prevent infections.
Conclusion to How Long is Honeycomb Good For?
Honeycomb is just about the perfect food: it gives you energy, contains antioxidants and is basically delicious. It also doesn’t have a ‘sell by date’, because it just doesn’t go off. Honeycomb is a sweet treat that can literally last forever.
Frequently Asked Questions on How Long Is Honeycomb Good For?
If I Leave Honeycomb in the Sun, Will It Go Off?
beeswax may even begin to melt. It will not make the honey go off, though. In fact, honey that is stored correctly does not go off, even over many years.
Why Doesn’t Honey Expire?
Honey contains enzymes that give it antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. This means that bacteria cannot grow in honey and microbes cannot affect it. This means that honey can’t go off and doesn’t expire.