As long as the quality of the bucket is good, you should be fine. Especially considering the fact that you haven't opened it since the first stages of fermentation. If what I've heard from others on this forum is correct, there should still be a blanket of C02 surrounding your mead right now, thus protecting it. Taste it, and if it seems fine, you might as well bottle it and let it age out. Some people like oxidized wines and mead anyway. Maybe you do too. Or, at the very least, know someone that does. Never dump a batch unless it tastes like a dead animal (In my opinion).