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Eatsy: Beekeeper’s Honey Cornbread

Jun 2, 2010

by kittykatherine handmade and vintage goods

Have you heard the happy hum of renegade bees in your town? For those of you who want to try your hand at the stickiest art form, Kitty Greenwald, cook and author, got a few tips from amateur beekeeper Cerise Mayo. This week’s Eatsy recipe features a locally sourced honey cornbread.  

Beekeepers are setting up shop in the most unexpected places and cities, and many are doing so for the first time. Hives are on rooftops, community gardens, backyards — anywhere and everywhere — and the renegade honey movement is literally abuzz (sorry, but when it’s this easy…). Here to tell us a bit about what first-time beekeepers can expect is Cerise Mayo, professional foodie and successful second-year beekeeper:


Photo by Cerise Mayo

Why did you start beekeeping? How did you learn enough to set up shop?
I’d admired some friends’ hives for a while, in particular Mary Woltz’s of Bees’ Needs out in Sag Harbor. Then, my friend Ian and I took an introductory course. From there, I read as much as I could and asked beekeepers about their approaches at every stage of the season, which I still do. While it’s fairly straightforward, nature definitely keeps things interesting.

What should first timers be mindful of?
Read a lot and know that every beekeeper has a different approach. People who have kept bees for 20 years still call themselves amateurs.

What are the beekeeping basics?
It’s important to check on the hive at least once every two weeks in the first year, making sure the bees are building the hive properly and have enough space to build their brood, honey, pollen reserves, etc.


Photo by Ian Curry

Where are your hives and why did you choose this location? More importantly, where is your honey available and how does it taste?
Our first hive was established in the backyard of a generous friend’s home in Red Hook, Brooklyn. It’s perfect because there are plenty blossoms to forage nearby. I just established seven more at Added Value Farm in Red Hook and Governor’s Island.

In the first year we harvested about 3.5 gallons of honey, but we’ll have much more soon. So far our honey is rather light, we think it’s because of the linden trees down Van Brunt Street. People say it tastes cantaloupe-y, which I agree with. We’re excited because later in the season it will be sold at Added Value.

Thanks, Cerise!

At Eatsy, the weekly locally sourced lunch I cook for Etsy staff, we recently used Cerise’s beautiful honey to sweeten a whipped cream that complemented walnut cake. In the past, I’ve made honey panna cotta, semi freddo and ice cream. For immediate fixes, pour some honey over fruit salad, yogurt or any seasonal fruit that wants a roasting. For baked goods, I like to make honey cornbread. BBQ season has officially launched, and this is a good potluck recipe to have on hand. Serve it warm with sweet butter and more, much more, honey.


Beekeeper’s Honey Cornbreadhoney1.jpg
Serves 10

1 1/2 cups coarse ground yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons honey (for a sweeter cornbread, use 4 tablespoons honey)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 12 x 8 in. baking pan with butter.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking powder.

In a separate bowl, mix the eggs and buttermilk together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined (the mixture will remain slightly lumpy). Stir in the butter and honey.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown on top and a toothpick, inserted in the center, comes out clean.

Allow the cornbread to cool slightly before serving. Well wrapped, this cornbread keeps for 1-2 days.

Below is a small sampling of the delicious handmade honeys available on Etsy. Like Cerise’s, they’ll provide a more nuanced and complex honey experience. Trippy.

To learn more about beekeeping, Cerise recommends you check out these sites:




About Kitty Greenwald, a cook and food writer living in Brooklyn:

Kitty has cooked in New York, California, France, Italy and Portugal, been involved in Slow Food Nation, and much more. Her first cookbook (just released!), Life’s Too Short to Chop Onions, published by Reader’s Digest, is a collection of handy-dandy easy recipes — you can find it on Amazon or through an independent bookseller. Happily, part of her week is devoted to Eatsy, a locally sourced and seasonal meal that she plans and prepares for the good people of Etsy. Here on the Blog, she shares recipes and chats with you about all things homemade and edible.

About Cerise Mayo:

Cerise is the owner of Urban Kitchen Garden, a garden consulting business based in Brooklyn and the resident beekeeper for Added Value Farm. She spent years at Slow Food USA , where she founded Slow Food in Schools — a program that offers children the opportunity to learn where their food comes from. Through the program, she recently installed a school garden at the Children’s Storefront School in East Harlem. She has also managed projects at Slow Food Nation and the New Amsterdam Market.

Have you ever tried keeping bees? What’s your local honey taste like?
Tell us about it in the comments and share links to Flickr photos.

Plants and Edibles Category

Osha Honey
Osha Honey
Vintage Collection of Booklets Featuring Recipes Made With Honey
Vintage Collection of Booklets Featuring Recipes Made With Honey
Pure  Beeswax by the Pound from Michigan Beekeepers
Pure Beeswax by the Pound from Michigan Beekeepers
Creamer and Sugar Set
Creamer and Sugar Set
Mason Bee Nest, Orchard Bee Stacked Tray System With Rain Proof Shelter
Mason Bee Nest, Orchard Bee Stacked Tray System With Rain Proof Shelter
Tea and Honey 8 x 12 photo
Tea and Honey 8 x 12 photo
Bee Pile Colony Collapse Disorder Print
Bee Pile Colony Collapse Disorder Print


  • darkcycleclothing

    darkcycleclothing said 6 years ago

    So awesome! I can't wait to try the recipe I love honey!

  • blueberryshoes

    blueberryshoes said 6 years ago

    sooo inspiring. what a beautiful hobby to get lost in. honey never goes bad, and they've found it in ancient tubs..good as new. honey is one of the most amazing substences nature has to offer us..

  • loopinloop

    loopinloop said 6 years ago

    Very interesting article! I love honey and this is great information!

  • SewnNatural

    SewnNatural said 6 years ago

    what a fantastic article, delicious-looking recipe + beautiful Etsy finds to go with it. I'm drooling over that Nectar soap, the cinnamon honey and that mason's bee's nest (we have one of his bat houses and it's so lovely).

  • cutiepiecompany

    cutiepiecompany said 6 years ago

    Yum! Inspiring article, can't wait to try out the recipe too...

  • blueroompottery

    blueroompottery said 6 years ago

    Just in time, as I was getting permission from my neighbors to have bees in my back yard. It is also so interesting that bees recognize their keeper and don't attack! Honey has been considered since ancient times as the elixir of life in Greece where I come from, and I was raised by my mother on royal jelly. I have been very healthy all my life, so I suppose it must have worked! Thanks for the info:>)

  • J2Jewelry

    J2Jewelry said 6 years ago


  • HoldTheWire

    HoldTheWire said 6 years ago

    Nice recipe, buttermilk and honey are great ingredients for cornbread! Also, I think beekeepers are so brave!

  • ParadiseBodyShop

    ParadiseBodyShop said 6 years ago

    Mm... fresh honey is always so good. I had no idea you could keep bees in NY!

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat said 6 years ago

    Mmmmm, honey! You can add it to almost anything & it will only improve the flavour.

  • LuRuUniques

    LuRuUniques said 6 years ago

    I think bee keeper are brave too. My hubby and one daughter are both allergic to bees, but they love honey. Can't wait to try the cornbread recipe.

  • undermyfeet

    undermyfeet said 6 years ago

    Wow! All of a sudden I got really hungry. Nice article.

  • StudioZen

    StudioZen said 6 years ago

    Awesome! Thanks for the recipe. It will go perfect with tonight's red beans and rice!

  • queenbeehoney

    queenbeehoney said 6 years ago

    It's true, every beekeeper will tell you something different about keeping bees! Corn bread looks great, I'll have to try it! Thanks

  • greenandpretty

    greenandpretty said 6 years ago

    Mmmmm, my mouth is watering just thinking about cornbread - and with honey! I'll be trying this soon, guaranteed. Thank you!!

  • GaLiMa

    GaLiMa said 6 years ago

    Just the recipe I was looking for! Thanks.

  • maggiemaevintage

    maggiemaevintage said 6 years ago

    My neighbor raises bees and sells his honey locally...beelightful!

  • BingoBox

    BingoBox said 6 years ago

    Bee's rule !!

  • bylynnkrestel

    bylynnkrestel said 6 years ago

    ok, now i'm hungry!! my father in law kept bees...had clover honey - dark and rich... and all we could want! boy, do i miss that!!

  • Hammermann

    Hammermann said 6 years ago

    This post makes me want to bake! I have to try the cornbread recipe.

  • LittleMissDressUp

    LittleMissDressUp said 6 years ago

    Oooohh, I LOVE honey. I buy a gallon evey yea from a local keeper and we eat up!

  • MissHildebrandt

    MissHildebrandt said 6 years ago

    oh honey, we love it as well. Thank you for the very interesting blog!

  • girltuesdayjewelry

    girltuesdayjewelry said 6 years ago

    What a great article! I love honey with the comb still in it. Mmmmmmm!!!!

  • birdie1

    birdie1 said 6 years ago

    Can't wait to try the recipe! Also, I've heard that a teaspoon of local (must be local) honey a day helps with seasonal allergies.

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 6 years ago

    I love bees I'd really like to have a hive at some point. Also I'd really like to try making cornbread! Cornbread first I think though lol.

  • GreenRoomStudios

    GreenRoomStudios said 6 years ago

    Mmmmmm.... I love love love honey!! The cornbread recipe looks amazing and I will definitely try it out at the next bbq we have or go to. Thanks!

  • BrianaEdelmanDesigns

    BrianaEdelmanDesigns said 6 years ago

    I love everything about honey and I'm working on beekeeping here in the country! Thanks so much for this article and recipe, delicious!

  • polkadotmagpie

    polkadotmagpie said 6 years ago

    Our county bee expert is a good gardening friend. I sadly am very allergic to bees. We trade veggies and fruit for honey. The book "The Secret Life of Bees" is a lovely story about beekeeping.

  • breadandroses2

    breadandroses2 said 6 years ago

    Oh, this is sweet! If it wasn't so warm I'd run in the kitchen & whip up a batch of that honey cornbread. Bakes best in a vintage, well-seasoned cast iron skillet old-timey style.

  • kristimcmurry

    kristimcmurry said 6 years ago

    Amazing! I'm going to make that next time I cook dinner. Thanks so much! I plan to try my hand at beekeeping later on down the road.

  • BlackStar

    BlackStar said 6 years ago

    Love this article! About 25 years ago, I did keep bees, as did many of my friends. We'd have a honey harvest party and go from farm to farm and collect honey. The best honey that I've ever tasted is Tupelo Honey, that came from the Fla. panhandle. Van Morrison knew what he was talking about!

  • cassidycay

    cassidycay said 6 years ago

    Wonderful! I will be making this soon! I love cornbread... I love honey... put it together and I am sure to love it!

  • RomanceCatsAndWhimsy

    RomanceCatsAndWhimsy said 6 years ago

    Very interesting article. I love honey! Have to check out some of these sellers. :)

  • tomatored

    tomatored said 6 years ago

    Mmmmmmm sounds good!

  • yournameheredesigns

    yournameheredesigns said 6 years ago

    I have so much love for bees, beekeepers and especially honey! A few summers ago, I read anything I could find on beekeeping, because I was certain that I would one day keep bees. Also, being an original southern girl, a cornbread recipe is always welcome with open arms!

  • ecozuzu

    ecozuzu said 6 years ago

    LOVE honey!!! fun blog article :)

  • KatsKube

    KatsKube said 6 years ago

    my grandfather was a bee keeper. nothing taste as good as raw honey right off the honeycomb. thanks for the receipt.

  • adrienneaudrey

    adrienneaudrey said 6 years ago

    I have been wanting to keep bees for a long time. I have a little mason bee house but I hope to one day have a full honey bee hive going

  • GoodGriefGlass

    GoodGriefGlass said 6 years ago

    Thanks for the recipe. Sounds tasty.

  • metroretrovintage

    metroretrovintage said 6 years ago

    I used to buy the local honey from the NY Botanical Gardens to beat allergies. The cornbread recipe looks yummy. :)

  • WoodlandBelle

    WoodlandBelle said 6 years ago

    Bees are my heroes!

  • TipsyTimeMachine

    TipsyTimeMachine said 6 years ago

    Can't wait to try the cornbread! My inlaws tried their hand at beekeeping for a couple of years back during my sweetie's childhood. They were experimenting with farmlife with no previous experience' growing crops, raising a few cows and chickens, but it didn't suit them.

  • TuxedoPunk

    TuxedoPunk said 6 years ago

    I want bees on elastic, so when they get pollen, they come back here!

  • Uncommonalities

    Uncommonalities said 6 years ago

    Yum, what a delicious blog post!

  • Raceytay

    Raceytay said 6 years ago

    I love our local honey. "Cantaloupe-y" flavoured sounds amazing. Great piece.

  • nowonder

    nowonder said 6 years ago

    Yumy! Sweet article. I love honey cake, can't wait to try out this recipy.

  • jcisco112

    jcisco112 said 6 years ago

    Thanks for the recipe! Will try very soon.

  • recycledwares

    recycledwares said 6 years ago

    love fresh honey and we have a few sources for it in our town. thanks for the recipe, cornbread is a staple in our neck of the prairie. this is making me hungry...

  • SimpleJoysPaperie

    SimpleJoysPaperie said 6 years ago

    Beekeeping is something I've considered in the last couple of years. I'm hoping it's something we can do in the near future. With more articles like this one, maybe we can help to rebuild the vanishing bee colonies. The cornbread looks delicious! It's much like my own recipe minus the honey, which I'll have to try (& not tell my husband that I added honey) since I like a sweeter bread and he does not.

  • SimpleJoysPaperie

    SimpleJoysPaperie said 6 years ago

    It's me again... :) Is the honey-sweetened whipped cream and walnut cake recipe available somewhere?

  • bhangtiez

    bhangtiez said 6 years ago

    MMMMM, honey & bees....great article & I can't wait to do this myself one day! I use bees wax on some of my creations to hold it together...thanks!!!

  • Krystyna81

    Krystyna81 said 6 years ago

    omg this sounds SO good! I can't wait to try it.

  • Krystyna81

    Krystyna81 said 6 years ago

    and PS if anyone is interested in bee keeping - read "The Secret Life of Bees" - excellent book!

  • ArtworkzByCheri

    ArtworkzByCheri said 6 years ago

    great article! I never thought (sad to say I reckon) of using honey rather than sugar...I adore sweet cornbread and next time I will leave sugar out and put honey in! Thank you so much for your recipe and article! God bless! Cheri

  • pixestreasurechest

    pixestreasurechest said 6 years ago

    This post will have everyone buzzing! I love honey, and local is by far the best!

  • lindakirstencole

    lindakirstencole said 6 years ago

    Wonderful article...Honey is so HEALTHY for you! Mix with cinnamon for a cold, I add it to all my soups and speghetti sauce, adds to the flavor......Happy for you that your business is doing so well! Linda

  • Evajune

    Evajune said 6 years ago

    A great look into the lives of beekeepers. I love honey in my tea. It is so good for you. Thank you for the corn bread recipe.

  • PositiveEnergyDesign

    PositiveEnergyDesign said 6 years ago

    Organic gardener by day, indie artist by night-I am currently studying Sustainable Agriculture and plan to start my own farm w/bees as my pollinators! So happy to see the art of beekeeping is spreading...:)

  • madebyferdy

    madebyferdy said 6 years ago

    very positive !!!!!!

  • emberatia

    emberatia said 6 years ago

    oh wonderful thanx for sharing this recipe. i am deeply passionate about bees. i dont really eat much honey but have a strong connection to bees and love to watch them in my garden and gives me great joy , i am also deeply concerned for the wellfare of bees.

  • PinkPlastic666

    PinkPlastic666 said 6 years ago

    Mmmmmm I love cornbread :D

  • DirtySanchez

    DirtySanchez said 6 years ago

    i would absolutely recommend that anyone interested in backyard beekeeping take an intro course and do it! it's a terrific, fascinating hobby (i ended up heading back to school for entomology because of it, although YMMV...) and as a bonus, honey is about the easiest thing on earth to sell - my demand has grown far more quickly than my supply (just this morning, the guy who stocks the frito lay case at the wawa where i get my coffee asked me about getting some.) yay bees!

  • BazingaCrafts

    BazingaCrafts said 6 years ago

    Cornbread is amazing! And who doesn't love honey? My husband is a HUGE fan. Maybe I can convince him we should try our hand at keeping bees.

  • sofisticata

    sofisticata said 6 years ago

    I've always been fascinating with bees and we love honey! I buy at a local shop, very fresh, and now a couple from my church that just moved are bee keepers, so we got more honey :) I'm going to try the corn bread recipe tomorrow!! thank you for sharing it!

  • tikoun

    tikoun said 5 years ago

    This honey looks good. The dark color reminded me of honey I have had in the past. your article gave me a new perspective for my site. I was not thinking about providing recipes in addition to the articles and email lessons. Thank you.

  • ObservatoryPlace

    ObservatoryPlace said 4 years ago

    I have been interested in the possibility of having a bee hive on my property some day! Thanks for posting this - I also didn't realize how many Etsy vendors there are selling home made honey. Yum! Will look for some NJ folk on Etsy.

  • RavensCrafts

    RavensCrafts said 4 years ago

    Love the article

  • EbonyRoux

    EbonyRoux said 4 years ago

    This is my first year keeping bees and even in this S. Texas record-breaking drought the girls are hanging in there. Aside from the queen, they've never experienced rain! What surprised me most was how docile they are. At first I would suit up from nose to toes but as the temperature started rising into the high 90s I grew a pair and now I check on them in shorts, flip flops and a tank top. Not a single sting (yet!) and my nifty smoker is pristine.. never been lit. I'm in it mostly for the joy of watching them work. If we get rain I might eventually collect a little golden rent, but for now I'm happy learning about them and they seem to be okay with my curiosity.

  • echogems

    echogems said 4 years ago

    Beekeeping has always been on my list of 'when I retire' hobbies. Honey is truly a nectar of the gods. What more can I say? Oh, yeah. Yum!..Thanks for such a delicious post. My own Echogems bee is just a-buzz with happiness!

  • echogems

    echogems said 4 years ago

    EbonyRoux - that is so awesome! I envy you. That sting factor has always been in the back of my mind. Nice to know it's not as dicey as one might think!

  • EarthPowerAromatics

    EarthPowerAromatics said 4 years ago

    Wow! You are so lucky to have been able to become a successful beekeeper. Plus, cornbread and honey? Two of the many favourite things in my life. Thanks so much for sharing. Very kind and sweet (couldn't resist : D) of you. All the best!

  • JaynesWares

    JaynesWares said 4 years ago

    I always say when we win the lottery Imma get a big house away from everyone and keep bees! Bees are amazing and I love honey!

  • PoetryofObjects

    PoetryofObjects said 4 years ago

    We have our first hive here this year. My daughter is the beehelper here. They are simply amazing....we love them!

  • joolrylane

    joolrylane said 4 years ago

    Love honey in my tea and on my cornbread. Great article. Interesting comment about local honey and allergies - I'll try it.

  • joolrylane

    joolrylane said 4 years ago

    Would love to have that walnut cake recipe !!!

  • jewelkingthai

    jewelkingthai said 4 years ago

    Interesting, given lot of information thank you

  • catiques

    catiques said 4 years ago

    lots of great info and great recipe.Thanks

  • freshpikd4u

    freshpikd4u said 4 years ago

    If you live in the Baltimore area, check out Baltimore Honey, our local organic honey co-op. You can buy a share in the honey, take classes in beekeeping, or volunteer to be a 'hive host'.

  • lapowers57

    Larry Powers said 2 years ago

    Best cornbread recipe yet. Thanks for sharing.

  • lapowers57

    Larry Powers said 2 years ago

    Best cornbread recipe I have tried. Thanks for sharing.

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