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How to store honey?


If I don’t plan on bottling my honey is it OK to leave it in a covered 20litre bucket till I’m ready to bottle??
How long could I leave it

I’m concerned if I bottle it and it sits in the jars to o long it may crystalize.

My jars are new plastic.


Hi !

Not what honey you have ?! Our local supplier does both with our local honey. Some he bottles in different size bottles n container. But I know he keeps the main bulk of his honey in larger buckets. I have some types of honey crystallized some at time. If you have some of these more prone varieties of honey I rather doubt you can prevent that from happening.

Last Autumn I bought a couple pint jars of “Canola Honey” at a honey event sponsored by Puget Sound Beekeeper Asiciation. It was sold already crystallized … Not much a person can do about these except enjoy, use n deal with at home by slightly heating at low temps to kind of liquify some.

Guessing others can n will jump in here with more specific but that’s my 2-cents worth. Not sure if it’s helpful. Some honey you’ll probably not have issue with n others will be a pain to deal with soon out of the comb.



Equally, if you don’t bottle it, and it sits in the bucket too long, it will crystallize there too! That is potentially much more difficult to re-liquify, given the volume.

To answer your question, yes it should be fine in the bucket, but it could still crystallize. How long that takes depends on where the bees got the nectar. If it was Oil Seed Rape (Canola crop), it could crystallize in a couple of weeks. If it was pure Acacia, it may take years. It is impossible to give you an accurate answer, but most honey crystallizes within a few months to a year. Crystallization does not affect the quality of the honey, just the texture changes. It is still perfectly edible and delicious.

The only way that I know of to slow down crystallization is to freeze the honey. Not easy if you have a big batch, but it works. :wink:


I keep all my runny honey in buckets till needed. It’s a nuisance having to deal with it crystallising in a jar otherwise. I slowly melt the honey at 40degrees and it’s good to go. It will last longer than you will I suspect


How do you do that, @Dee? Do you have one of those fancy thermostat-controlled heating belts? Or do you put it in a big box with a light bulb providing the heat inside?

I have never remelted it on a large scale. Perhaps one jar at a time in warm water. However for selling it, I just tell customers that it is just as good when crystallized and some people even prefer it that way. :blush:


I have one of those tea urns and it will take a 30lb bucket. A solid bucket will take about two days, stirring it occasionally. One of our beekeeping suppliers also sells a thermostat controlled heater that goes into a home made PIR (that foil faced foam insulation for houses) box. I have made one of those.

I really don’t like the gritty feel of crystallised honey so I usually make fast crystallising honey into soft set. I’m nowhere near any Canola but dandelion sets quickly and I get a lot of that


It crystallizes fastest at 57° F (14° C). The further you stay from that the slower it will crystallize. Freezing will prevent it. Keeping it at 100 F or so will slow it down a lot.


Yes…that’s the ideal temperature to make soft set…or do you call it creamed?


Here it’s usually called “creamed” though sometimes it’s called “spun” or “candied” to get around Cornell’s Dyce Process patent (though it has now expired the names live on). The reason the crystals are small (which gives the smooth “mouth feel”) is the speed at which the crystals form. At 57 F it will crystallize as quickly as possible.


I use a seed so crystal size depends on that


Crystal size is dependent on two things, seed size and how quickly it crystallizes. The slower it crystallizes the bigger the resulting crystals. And, of course, if you start with larger seed crystals you end up with bigger crystals. Dyce patented the ideal temperature and Cornell for many years would travel around and sue beekeepers who used the 57 F temperature. Walter Diehnelt of Honey Acres tells a story about how Cornell University sent some lawyers to threaten his dad since they were selling “candied honey”. They weren’t using the trademarked “creamed honey” name but the lawyers were sure they were using the “Dyce” process and not paying a fee so they were in violation of the patent. Walter said his dad was acting very scared and he asked them how they would determine if he was in violation of the patent. They said it was simple. If the thermostat in the room where he “candied” the honey was set to 57 F then he was in violation. A look of relief washed over his dad’s face. His dad took the lawyers to the room where he crystallized his honey. They asked where the thermostat was. He replied there was no thermostat. They asked how he controlled the temperature in the room. He said if he thought it was too warm, he opened the window and if he thought it was too cold, he would build a small fire in the wood stove. The lawyers got very angry and left and never came back. The temperature was considered a vital part of the process. I just set my jars on the window sill. It tends to be in that nice range where it crystallizes quickly. It’s colder than the room but not so cold as outside…


Hi all,

Never had enough to be concerned about ! What I’ve liquified thus far (less than a quart) I put in a shallow double boiler with some heated water on lowest heat … As it liquifies I turn off the burner.

If I get to harvest Honey this season I’ll need to be concerned then. Nice “read” Michael ! I enjoy little interesting " tid bits" like you shared :+1::exclamation:

If I get to Harvest extra … The first several gallons are mine ! And then fill any requests. I want to maybe save a bit to keep the neighbors “Buttered Up” :grinning:

Thank Gang ! (Dawn, Dee, Micheal n others)… I appreciate the notes n thots…



Yes…a job for winter