Cayman Honey is simply amazing

I recently found out honey has the same likelihood of curing a cough in a child as common over the counter medication.

I read it in a journal and if you want to check it out I have enclosed the web page

Cayman Honey

Cayman Honey is grown, sold here. Photo: Simon Boxall

Tucked away in Newlands is a very interesting man.

Otto Watler makes honey.

I went for a visit and I met an older, but still strong man with a grey beard and a firm hand.

I saw old Cayman crocodile bones and teeth, a fossilized whelk and old bits of wood and rock.

See, Mr. Otto is an explorer, a farmer and a wealth of knowledge. Mr. Watler’s beard may be grey and shaggy, but his eyes still sparkle.

I went to do a story on Cayman honey but that was months ago now. Much has happened since then.

I have introduced my children, my wife and mother-in-law to Mr. Otto. Mr. Otto’s honey has travelled to New Mexico. I am on my third pot.

On my first visit, I watched Mr. Otto approach this large steel drum in a dimly lit room and stoop down and tap off a pot of honey.

It was dark; the darkest I have ever seen.

You couldn’t see through it and yet when I and my family later consumed the whole pot, I found there was virtually no wax. The trace of comb at the end, perhaps an eighth of an inch, I greedily consumed late one night by myself, in my own kitchen.

It is really quite surprising how quickly a big pot of honey disappears when you come home singing its praises, really convinced you have found golden treasure.

I gave the honey to one of my children and, I give you my word, I promise, she stopped coughing.

She really stopped and when she started again, I gave it to her again and she stopped coughing again.

Honey is said to be an incredible thing. It contains all the pollens from all the trees and flowers in your surroundings

Some say your whole landscape is somehow encapsulated in the golden nectar.

Some claim it has antibiotic properties. Some say it may protect you and make you immune to some harmful things.

Otto’s honey was dark. I watched him tap it off from a large steel barrel and it was dark.

He said it was good that it was dark. He said it was because it had been in the hive for so long; it had been in there for three years. See Otto lost most of his bees in Hurricane Ivan. This was his first crop since the storm.

Honey is a funny thing. It never goes off and you don’t need to put it in the fridge. Those strange old yellow and black stingers have created the most wonderful concoction.

Shortly after I picked up my first pot, my one year old boy slapped at a bee on the pink powder puff plant in my front yard.

It stung him in the crease of his first knuckle on the inside of his index finger on his right hand. I watched him closely for a second and for an instant his look of amazement held and then his face contorted and he let out the most hideous scream.

I was beside him at the time but still rushed to pick him up. With his screaming mouth tucked in tight beside my ear I quickly proceeded to carry him to a nearby chair and plucked the offending stinger out of his finger.

After running out to find out what was wrong, my wife just as quickly charged back inside to put together a poultice of bicarbonate of soda, which she then applied to his finger.

We then sat down on the couch and watched his wrenching sobs and waited to see how he would react to the sting. He yelled for a long time and made a very big fuss of his finger but he had no reaction. He was fine.

As I explained earlier, within a week the first pot had gone and the following weekend, I took my children for a visit to Mr. Otto’s without my wife. He pulled out the crocodile bones and had a little chicken run up and down his shoulder, which amazed my children and had them hooting with laughter.

At one stage a very large spider came running out of the box of old crocodile bones straight for my three year old daughter and she leapt up in fear, but we soon learned that, like bees, they really won’t trouble you if you don’t trouble them.

Later someone told me that a bee sting may be good for you, it may have properties like acupuncture and may even in fact trigger a positive reaction, something good. My son is not frightened of bees, he is aware of them and he points them out and says ‘bee’ when he sees one, but he is respectful. He no longer slaps at them.

I have now had several amazing experiences with bees. As a child I admit I provoked a nest and unfortunately some of my friends got badly stung. I also heard a whole hive fly over my head one time and it sounded like a jet plane or something. It was very strange.

Once I nearly stepped in a hive in a hole in the ironshore near Wind Point in Bodden Town. My foot and my weight was already on the way down when I saw five or six bees hovering around the entrance and pulled away just in time.

I remember not too long ago a man died in West Bay from a swarm. He was found on the road with hundreds of bees on him.

One day I took my dog to the beach and went looking for soldier crabs in a sea grape thicket. As I dug amongst the roots, I noticed a bee began troubling me and I batted it away several times before retreating with my dog and leaving in the car.

At home I later found the dog had been stung at least twelve times, mostly on the ears. I sometimes wonder how close we came to having the whole hive attacking us. Clearly the dog had disturbed a nest.

There wasn’t much Cayman honey, but Otto recently sold a number of large pots and some small ones too. I saw them in Fosters in the Countryside mall. I really couldn’t believe the price of a big pot for $7.49. It was the best honey I have ever eaten.

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