Honey usually works when I catch the cold sore during that "tingling" stage. But, just recently I think the sun did me in and 2 days later I broke out. I could fill my lip getting swollen and irritated and see it being red but I was at work and didn't have the honey available. I got home and did the honey but by the next day, full on blisters. I was applying the honey but it was too late. And the cold sore is now progressing thru the states.
So, for honey to work, for me, I need to catch it right at the tingling stage. Or else it seems it's too late.