By Phil Klutts
August 22, 2023

All the buzz on beekeeping

The Scott family operates Sweet Stingers Honey & Apiary with bees across Oklahoma.
Justin and Melissa Scott run Sweet Stingers with their children, Lexi and Lucas (Photo: Brent Fuchs)

The Scott family has done something with Sweet Stingers that many people try to do but often fail short of; built a business that supports their family, teaches their children, and is good for the earth. Justin Scott, his wife Melissa, and their children Lexi and Lucas do this with exciting products and an innovative model that creates a win-win-win scenario for the Scotts, the environment, and those who allow the bees on their property. 

“The main focus of Sweet Stingers is managing hives for people that want or need bees around, but they don’t want to be the beekeepers,” explains Justin. The company places hives on people’s properties, whether homes, business rooftops, farms, or other locations, and then manages the bees for their clients.

When we asked how this business came about, Justin shared that his passion for beekeeping is a skill inherited from his grandfather and one he’s honed for 32 years. “I got into beekeeping about the age of nine. My grandfather was a beekeeper, and I learned from him growing up,” recalls Justin.

Bees across Oklahoma

Sweet Stingers have been around since 2013, but it took really took off around its seventh year. Since Justin is a landscape architect and his wife Melissa is a kindergarten teacher, one might wonder how they manage such a demanding venture—the secret lies in their genuine passion and a unique business model.

Their reach is extensive. “We’re the only operation in all seven regions of Oklahoma. And currently, our hives touch almost every county in Oklahoma outside of the panhandle within a 50-mile radius,” asserts Justin. With 800 hives spread across 180 different yards, the magnitude of Sweet Stinger’s operation is hard to fathom.

It’s not just about beekeeping, however. Sweet Stingers have cultivated a reputation for their diverse range of products. “We sell everything from the beehive! So honey is a big one, but we also do the raw pollens, the beeswax, we make beeswax candles, and then we also showcase honey in different recipes,” said Justin. They have innovated to include products like bread, salsas, and nut butter.

Such is their popularity that Sweet Stingers offers free statewide delivery. They do many door drop-offs just to keep up with demand. They also have a presence in local farmers’ markets. 

Future plans

Lucas and Lexi Scott are also involved in the family business. (Photo: Brent Fuchs)

However, the demand is so intense that the Scotts are often racing to keep up. As the business continues to flourish, there are grand visions for the future. They hope to expand their product line, set up a brick-and-mortar storefront, and build more hives, especially for those eager to house and care for their beloved bees.

Education and community engagement play a pivotal role in the Scott family ethos. They offer tours and educational sessions, giving enthusiasts and novices a closer look at the world of bees. Those keen to stay updated on the happenings at Sweet Stingers can follow their active social media channels, where they share everything from education to recipes on how to use all the by-products of bees, not just honey.

A family affair

A notable feature of Sweet Stingers is the involvement of the next generation. About seven years ago, Lexi and Lucas, the Scott children, expressed interest in the business. Seeing their enthusiasm, Justin offered them a unique deal: they’d be compensated for helping manage the bees. Lexi has since begun working with beeswax and crafting products like candles, while Lucas oversees bees throughout the state.

The story of Sweet Stingers is a testament to the power of passion, family, and innovation. In uniting their love for bees with keen business acumen, the Scotts have built a successful enterprise and contributed to our community’s ecological well-being.

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About Phil Klutts

Phil is an Edmond native and has managed to keep his wife here instead of traveling the world, which they both enjoy. They have two boys who love the outdoors, adventures, and learning new things. Phil is a problem-solver at heart and enjoys connecting people to the resources they need.

In addition to being the co-owner of Edmond Business, Phil founded the CK Group LLC after working for large and small businesses in the Energy, Construction, and Fitness industries. He focuses on helping small businesses and entrepreneurs improve their systems and processes. CK Group LLC's mission is to eliminate chaos and create clarity for small business by connecting vision, strategy, and implementation.