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Sweet rewards

Gearing up for the Great Tulsa Honey Sale

Shadow Mountain Honey Company produces small batches of raw honey

James Deming

When Courtney Deming gave her husband James a beekeeping class for Christmas 2013, she thought he would take the class and decide beekeeping was not for him.

Instead, James took the class the following January and promptly ordered two sets of bees and two hives to start what he thought would be a small backyard operation. He wasn’t sure what the future would hold, but knew he had found a new passion in beekeeping.

After a few missteps, and a sharp learning curve, his interest has now turned into a full-blown business. Shadow Mountain Honey Company, named after the hill on which the Demings live, now includes swarm rescue and produces honey from approximately 35 hives. That honey will be for sale at the company’s third annual Great Tulsa Honey Sale.

“Demand is very strong,” James Deming said. “We did sell out last year. I have been amazed at the response to our sale offerings each year. It just continues to grow. We will have several hundred jars of honey on hand, and it will go quickly.”

Seeing the demand and the huge amount of support they have received from fans of their honey, the Demings have been working to expand their product range. They have been experimenting with making lotion bars and beeswax lip balms in a variety of scents and flavors, which will be available to purchase the day of the sale, alongside the honey. They also have expanded their efforts and production space with help from the community.

“We have hives in backyards all across the city ... the benefit to the host is primarily the joy of helping the bee population, and to have pollinators in their gardens,” James said.

Monitoring the hives, extracting and filtering processes, and jarring enough honey ahead of the sale is a big job, but one that is meaningful to James.

“Beekeeping is a passion for me. I enjoy all aspects from caring for the bees—planting plants bees like, watching them work the flowers, and meeting our honey fans and fellow beekeepers.”

Great Tulsa Honey Sale
Saturday, July 22, 9am–noon
6332 S. 69th E. Pl. | shadowmountainhoney.com

For more from Amanda, read her story on fifth-generation brewer Holly Clay-Buck.