Why does honey smell bad

In this guide, we will address and answer the query, “why does honey smell bad?” and answer other similar related questions like “does the smell of honey affect its quality” and “Why does honey smell bad?”

What does good honey smell like?

Bad-smelling honey may be the result of storage in an unclean container and the presence of bacteria and other contaminants.

Honey may also begin to smell bad if it is exposed to air for too long. This can cause the honey to oxidize, which changes its color and flavor. If your honey has a bad odor, it is best to discard it.

The smell could also be due to fermentation, especially in raw honey. Unpasteurized honey has a high water percentage of about 20%. When much honey is exposed to heat or more moisture, it will start to ferment. Harvesting honey too early increases the chances of fermentation.

The smell of fermented honey is often described as being similar to that of alcohol or vinegar. It can also be quite strong and pungent.

Does the smell of honey affect its quality?

The smell of honey does not affect its quality. Honey quality is affected by factors such as the type of flowers the bees visit, the weather, and the beekeeper’s management practices. 

However, the smell of honey can be an indicator of its freshness. Honey that has a strong, sweet smell is typically fresher than honey that has a faint or no smell.

Why does honey smell like alcohol?

Some types of honey may have a slightly fermented smell because they contain trace amounts of alcohol. The alcohol content in honey is produced by the bees as they break down the sugar in the honey. This process is called fermentation. 

While the alcohol content in honey is very low, it can still be detected by the human nose. The alcohol content in honey can also vary depending on the type of honey and where it was produced. 

Some types of honey, such as manuka honey, may have a higher alcohol content due to the presence of other compounds in the honey. In general, honey should not smell like alcohol. If your honey has a strong alcohol smell, it may be spoiled and should be discarded.

What does good honey smell like?

There is no definitive answer to this question as everyone’s sense of smell is different. However, in general, good honey will have a sweet, floral, or fruity aroma. 

When it comes to honey, the darker the color, the stronger the flavor. So, if you prefer milder honey, look for one that is lighter in color. If you’re not sure whether or not the honey is good, give it a sniff. If it smells off or rancid, it’s probably not something you want to eat.

Can you remove the bad smell from the honey?

The best way to remove the bad smell from honey may vary depending on the source of the odor. However, some possible methods for removing the bad smell from honey include heating the honey to evaporate the odor-causing compounds, using a food-grade activated charcoal filter, or boiling the honey in water to remove impurities.

What is honey good for?

Honey has been used as a medicine for centuries. It is known to have antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is also a natural source of antioxidants. Honey has been shown to be effective in treating wounds and burns. It can also help to reduce inflammation and swelling.

 Honey is also a  natural energy booster.  Honey is a natural way to treat coughs and sore throats. Honey can help with digestive issues. Moreover,  Honey can help fight off infections.


How is bad smell eliminated during processing?

The bad smell is usually removed by filtering the honey. Some companies also use a process called centrifuging to remove impurities from the honey.

This process uses a spinning machine to separate the honey from the wax and other impurities. The honey is then strained and bottled. If the honey still has a bad smell, it may be because it has gone bad and should be thrown away.

For more details on honey processing. Click here


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “why does honey smell bad?”  We have also discussed “Can you remove the bad smell from the honey?” and “What is honey good for?”

Hope you found this blog useful, if you have any questions, please let us know.




Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.