Sheltered Islander

To Bee or Not To Bee

There’s a wonderful article in the Shelter Island Reporter this week, written by Carrie Ann Salvi, about the beekeeper, Alfred Brigham. He’s keeping alive the tradition started by his grandfather, Alfred Kilb, of keeping the Island in honey products.

When I first moved back to the Island in September of 1997, I was already dreading the next summer because I suffered from allergic conjunctivitis, and when the goldenrod pollens blossomed in early August, my eyes would seal shut and have stabbing pains for the next four weeks. However, by good fortune, I met Chrystyna Kestler at that time and she shared a secret that changed my life, and I now pass it on to all the allergy sufferers out there.

If you suffer from allergies, take two teaspoons of local honey (processed as close to your home as you can get) a day. You are eating small amounts of processed pollen in the form of honey. Your body acclimates to the pollens after about five weeks and when you next encounter the pollens, your body will no longer fight them off and cause you all manner of misery. I was skeptical, but I tried it and it worked. I buy Brigham’s honey all the time. [expand]

Just one warning—if you put a jar in your handbag, try to remember that it’s there before you drop your handbag on the floor and unknowingly crack the jar. Because later that day, when you’re on the ferry and you reach in to grab your wallet to pay your ticket, you could encounter a big surprise. Honey, particularly an entire spilled jar, seeps into every corner of your purse. I’ll never forget the feeling of reaching my hand into a pocket of sticky goo to get my wallet out.

“Ms Flynn, I can’t take this 20, it’s dripping with honey.”

“Think of it as a bonus—you can dip it in your coffee.”

“No, Ms Flynn, I can’t. Give me something I can hold until you come back later with dry money.”

“Okay, here’s my debit card, wait, it’s stuck to my hair brush.”

“Oh gross…what the hell?”

“I spilled a jar of honey in my handbag. Look, you can take my whole handbag, I’ll just take my license and my debit card and find a place to wash them and bring you back the ferry fare.”

“No way—honey is dripping from the bottom.”

“Oh no!  All over my pants. I gotta take these off.”

“NO! Not here! Leave your pants on in the car. Look, I know where you live, just bring me the fare later.”

“Ahhhh, that’s so sweet of you…”

“Make sure it’s clean and dry.” [/expand]

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