Peel and quarter the pears, then remove the cores. Place them in a large (5-quart) heavy-bottomed soup pot or dutch oven.
Use a vegetable or paring knife to coarsely zest the lemon into the pot, then slice it in half and add the juice to the pot as well. Add the honey and water.
Place the pot over medium heat and bring up to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and let the pears simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until translucent and fork-tender.
Remove the pears and lemon zest from the pot with a slotted spoon. Transfer the pears to a medium bowl, and discard the zest.
Turn the heat up to medium low, and boil the poaching liquid until it has reduced to 1 1/4 cups and reached a light syrup consistency, about 35-40 minutes, stirring every five minutes or so. Pour the reduced liquid over the pears and refrigerate, covered, for at least three hours or up to overnight.