Dover hive thrives by selling bee-based products

By Elle Wood
Posted 2/28/24

Business is buzzing at family-owned and Dover-based Viva La Bee, which sells a variety of lotions made from bee products.

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Dover hive thrives by selling bee-based products


DOVER — Business is buzzing at family-owned Viva La Bee, which sells a variety of lotions made from bee products.

Faith Flatt and her husband, Mark Flatt I, started the venture with her daughters, Alexis, Avinlea and Merrick Flatt, as well as their son, Achius Flatt, who all help with various jobs and sell their wares. A younger son, Mark Flatt II, will eventually assist them, too.

The Flatts began developing their lotions a few years ago but have really begun selling to the public over the last three months — via their website and various vendor events.

Dover-based Viva La Bee’s focus is on family.

“My husband and I had experience over the last decade in lotions, so we started tweaking what would be the perfect lotion for our whole family,” said Ms. Flatt. “We have little kids, teenagers and adults.

“We wanted a rescue remedy that worked on everything from mom’s beauty routine to our daughter’s acne treatment to even more serious conditions.”

Their lotions were homemade at first. They then found the perfect person to turn their recipes into products they could sell on a larger scale.

“We came up with the formula ourselves,” Ms. Flatt said. “We developed it at our kitchen sink and then, over time, worked to find the right chemist who could partner with us to make our unique recipe.”

The formula includes royal jelly, a gelatin-like substance produced by bees to provide nutrition to larvae and the queen bee in the colony. It includes many health benefits, which made it perfect to use in Viva La Bee’s lotions, she said.

For instance, royal jelly has anti-bacterial effects, which can help heal wounds and skin conditions. So, the Flatts use it in creams for a variety of skin ailments, including acne, eczema and psoriasis.

Developing these lotions via a family business is not how Ms. Flatt thought her career would go, but she wouldn’t trade it for anything, she said.

“Stepping out of the corporate world and going full time doing this with our family is really special,” Ms. Flatt said. “Especially because we have daughters, so having them seeing the business and the behind-the-scenes aspect has been really special.

“This is something I have been dreaming of,” she added.

For information about Viva La Bee and its products, visit

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