Royal jelly

Royal jelly is a honey bee secretion that is used in the nutrition of larvae, as well as adult queens.[1] It is secreted from the glands in the hypopharynx of nurse bees, and fed to all larvae in the colony, regardless of sex or caste.[2]

When a bee hive is making new queens, the workers construct special queen cells, and the larvae in these cells are fed with copious amounts of royal jelly. This type of feeding triggers the development of queen morphology, including the fully developed ovaries needed to lay eggs.[3]

Royal jelly is widely marketed as a dietary supplement. It is an alternative medicine that falls under the category of apitherapy. Both the European Food Safety Authority and United States Food and Drug Administration have concluded that the current evidence does not support the claim of health benefits, and have actively discouraged the sale and consumption of the jelly. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has taken legal action against companies that have used unfounded claims of health benefits to market royal jelly products. There have also been documented cases of allergic reactions, namely hives, asthma, and anaphylaxis, due to consumption of royal jelly.

Weiselzellen 68a
Developing queen larvae surrounded by royal jelly


Royal jelly is secreted from the glands in the heads of worker bees and is fed to all bee larvae, whether they are destined to become drones (males), workers (sterile females), or queens (fertile females). After three days, the drone and worker larvae are no longer fed with royal jelly, but queen larvae continue to be fed this special substance throughout their development.


Royal jelly is 67% water, 12.5% protein, 11% simple sugars (monosaccharides), 6% fatty acids and 3.5% 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (10-HDA). It also contains trace minerals, antibacterial and antibiotic components, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and trace amounts of vitamin C,[2] but none of the fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E or K.[4]


Major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs) are a family of proteins secreted by honey bees. The family consists of nine proteins, of which MRJP1 (also called royalactin), MRJP2, MRJP3, MRJP4, and MRJP5 are present in the royal jelly secreted by worker bees. MRJP1 is the most abundant, and largest in size. The five proteins constitute 83–90% of the total proteins in royal jelly.[5][6] Royal jelly has been used in traditional medicine since ancient times, and the MRJPs are shown to be the main medicinal components. They are synthesised by a family of nine genes (mrjp genes), which are in turn members of the yellow family of genes such as in the fruitfly (Drosophila) and bacteria. They are attributed to be involved in differential development of queen larva and worker larvae, thus establishing division of labour in the bee colony.[5]

Epigenetic effects

The honey bee queens and workers represent one of the most striking examples of environmentally controlled phenotypic polymorphism. Even if two larvae had identical DNA, one raised to be a worker, the other a queen, the two adults would be strongly differentiated across a wide range of characteristics including anatomical and physiological differences, longevity, and reproductive capacity.[7] Queens constitute the female sexual caste and have large active ovaries, whereas female workers have only rudimentary, inactive ovaries and are functionally sterile. The queen–worker developmental divide is controlled epigenetically by differential feeding with royal jelly; this appears to be due specifically to the protein royalactin. A female larva destined to become a queen is fed large quantities of royal jelly; this triggers a cascade of molecular events resulting in development of a queen.[3] It has been shown that this phenomenon is mediated by an epigenetic modification of DNA known as CpG methylation.[8] Silencing the expression of an enzyme that methylates DNA in newly hatched larvae led to a royal jelly-like effect on the larval developmental trajectory; the majority of individuals with reduced DNA methylation levels emerged as queens with fully developed ovaries. This finding suggests that DNA methylation in honey bees allows the expression of epigenetic information to be differentially altered by nutritional input.

Use by humans

Royal jelly is collected and sold as a dietary supplement for humans, but the European Food Safety Authority has concluded that the current evidence does not support the claim that consuming royal jelly will give health benefits in humans.[9] In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has taken legal action against companies that have used unfounded claims of health benefits to market royal jelly products.[10][11]


Royal jelly is harvested by stimulating colonies with movable frame hives to produce queen bees. Royal jelly is collected from each individual queen cell (honeycomb) when the queen larvae are about four days old. These are the only cells in which large amounts are deposited; when royal jelly is fed to worker larvae, it is fed directly to them, and they consume it as it is produced, while the cells of queen larvae are "stocked" with royal jelly much faster than the larvae can consume it. Therefore, only in queen cells is the harvest of royal jelly practical. A well-managed hive during a season of 5–6 months can produce approximately 500 g of royal jelly. Since the product is perishable, producers must have immediate access to proper cold storage (e.g., a household refrigerator or freezer) in which the royal jelly is stored until it is sold or conveyed to a collection center. Sometimes honey or beeswax is added to the royal jelly, which is thought to aid its preservation.

Adverse effects

Royal jelly may cause allergic reactions in humans ranging from hives, asthma, to even fatal anaphylaxis.[12][13][14][15][16][17] The incidence of allergic side effects in people who consume royal jelly is unknown. The risk of having an allergy to royal jelly is higher in people who have other allergies.[12]

See also


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  2. ^ a b Graham, J. (ed.) (1992) The Hive and the Honey Bee (Revised Edition). Dadant & Sons.
  3. ^ a b Maleszka, R, Epigenetic integration of environmental and genomic signals in honey bees: the critical interplay of nutritional, brain and reproductive networks. Epigenetics. 2008, 3, 188–192.
  4. ^ "Value-added products from beekeeping. Chapter 6".
  5. ^ a b Buttstedt, A; Moritz, RF; Erler, S (May 2014). "Origin and function of the major royal jelly proteins of the honeybee (Apis mellifera) as members of the yellow gene family". Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society. 89 (2): 255–69. doi:10.1111/brv.12052. PMID 23855350.
  6. ^ Albert, S; Bhattacharya, D; Klaudiny, J; Schmitzová, J; Simúth, J (1999). "The family of major royal jelly proteins and its evolution". Journal of Molecular Evolution. 49 (2): 290–297. doi:10.1007/pl00006551. PMID 10441680.
  7. ^ Winston, M, The Biology of the Honey Bee, 1987, Harvard University Press
  8. ^ Kucharski R, Maleszka, J, Foret, S, Maleszka, R (2008). "Nutritional Control of Reproductive Status in Honeybees via DNA Methylation". Science. 319 (5871): 1827–1833. doi:10.1126/science.1153069. PMID 18339900.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ "Scientific Opinion". EFSA Journal. 9 (4): 2083. 2011. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2011.2083.
  10. ^ "Federal Government Seizes Dozens of Misbranded Drug Products: FDA warned company about making medical claims for bee-derived products". Food and Drug Administration. Apr 5, 2010.
  11. ^ "Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations: Beehive Botanicals, Inc". Food and Drug Administration. March 2, 2007.
  12. ^ a b Leung, R; Ho, A; Chan, J; Choy, D; Lai, CK (March 1997). "Royal jelly consumption and hypersensitivity in the community". Clin. Exp. Allergy. 27 (3): 333–6. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2222.1997.tb00712.x. PMID 9088660.
  13. ^ Takahama H, Shimazu T (2006). "Food-induced anaphylaxis caused by ingestion of royal jelly". J. Dermatol. 33 (6): 424–426. doi:10.1111/j.1346-8138.2006.00100.x. PMID 16700835.
  14. ^ Lombardi C, Senna GE, Gatti B, Feligioni M, Riva G, Bonadonna P, Dama AR, Canonica GW, Passalacqua G (1998). "Allergic reactions to honey and royal jelly and their relationship with sensitization to compositae". Allergol. Immunopathol. 26 (6): 288–290.
  15. ^ Thien FC, Leung R, Baldo BA, Weiner JA, Plomley R, Czarny D (1996). "Asthma and anaphylaxis induced by royal jelly". Clin. Exp. Allergy. 26 (2): 216–222. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2222.1996.tb00082.x. PMID 8835130.
  16. ^ Leung R, Thien FC, Baldo B, Czarny D (1995). "Royal jelly-induced asthma and anaphylaxis: clinical characteristics and immunologic correlations". J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 96 (6 Pt 1): 1004–1007. doi:10.1016/S0091-6749(95)70242-3. PMID 8543734.
  17. ^ Bullock RJ, Rohan A, Straatmans JA (1994). "Fatal royal jelly-induced asthma". Med. J. Aust. 160 (1): 44.


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External links

3,10-Dihydroxydecanoic acid

3,10-Dihydroxydecanoic acid is a chemical found in royal jelly.


Apifresh is a European project funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Program. It started on 1 July 2010 and it will last three years. The project is developed by a Consortium set up by partners from different European Countries. It is formed by four Industrial Associations, three SMEs and three research centres.

Apifresh project has come out in several media:

La Rioja Government newsletter


Madrimasd (Science and Research News from Spain)

Magazize O Apicultor

Computers and Electronics in Agriculture



Apitherapy is a branch of alternative medicine that uses honey bee products, including honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly and bee venom. Proponents of apitherapy make claims for its health benefits which are unsupported by evidence-based medicine.

Bee brood

In beekeeping, bee brood or brood refers to the eggs, larvae and pupae of honeybees. The brood of Western honey bees develops within a bee hive. In man-made, removable frame hives, such as Langstroth hives, each frame which is mainly occupied by brood is called a brood frame. Brood frames usually have some pollen and nectar or honey in the upper corners of the frame. The rest of the brood frame cells may be empty or occupied by brood in various developmental stages. During the brood raising season, the bees may reuse the cells from which brood has emerged for additional brood or convert it to honey or pollen storage. Bees show remarkable flexibility in adapting cells to a use best suited for the hive's survival.


A beekeeper is a person who keeps honey bees.

Honey bees produce commodities such as honey, beeswax, pollen, propolis, and royal jelly, while some beekeepers also raise queens and other bees to sell to other farmers and to satisfy scientific curiosity. Beekeepers also use honeybees to provide pollination services to fruit and vegetable growers. Many people keep bees as a hobby. Others do it for income either as a sideline to other work or as a commercial operator. These factors affect the number of colonies maintained by the beekeeper.

Buster Brown (band)

Buster Brown was a glam metal band from Louisville, Kentucky.Members included lead vocalist Johnny Edwards, guitarist Allan Phelps, and bassist Kevin Downs.

The band went through several drummers. Drummer Bob Koestel played on the band's first album Loud and Clear. Drummer James Kottak played on the band's second album Sign of Victory.

After the band's second album Sign Of Victory, Johnny Edwards and James Kottak were recruited by guitarist Ronnie Montrose into his band Montrose. They played on the Montrose album Mean. Johnny Edwards, James Kottak, Kevin Downs and Tony Bowles played together in the original line-up of the band Wild Horses. They were signed to Atlantic Records and were in the studio when shortly after the forming of Wild Horses, Johnny Edwards left to replace Lou Gramm in the band Foreigner, with which he sang on the album Unusual Heat. Shortly after the release of Unusual Heat, Lou Gramm returned to Foreigner and Johnny Edwards was let go. Johnny Edwards went on to form the band Royal Jelly that was short-lived.

Drummer James Kottak had a long career playing in the German band Scorpions until recently was replaced by Mickey Dee. Tony Bowles plays in the Hank Williams Jr. band.

Danny Stag

Danny Stag (born Daniel Steigerwald in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is an American hard rock guitarist who played with the band Kingdom Come and authored successful blues rock guitar instructional videos. Stag was noted for his soulful blues rock playing, a style that by the late 1980s had been somewhat of a lost art, with many hard rock guitarists at the time playing with a more technical approach.

Prior to joining Kingdom Come, Stag played in L.A. based bands Population 5, and WWIII; along with future Kingdom Come bandmate, Johnny B. Frank, a former keyboard player for Josie Cotton. Stag's big break in the music industry came shortly after his good friend Johnny B. Frank was chosen to play in Lenny Wolf's new band Kingdom Come. Wolf had asked Frank if he knew any blues guitarists and Frank recommended Stag. At the audition, Wolf asked Stag to improvise a solo for their upcoming single, "What Love Can Be," which resulted in Stag landing the lead guitar duties for Kingdom Come. The band's debut album Kingdom Come quickly climbed the billboard charts peaking at number 12, with worldwide sales greatly exceeding one million copies. Kingdom Come were one of five bands selected (Scorpions, Metallica, Van Halen, and Dokken, the others) to appear on the Monsters of Rock Tour 1988. Of the several tour dates included a stop in Stag's hometown of Pittsburgh, where the band played in front of over 30,000 people at the Three Rivers Stadium. The band capped off a busy 1988 with a show headlined by Bon Jovi in Tokyo on December 31.

The following year, Kingdom Come released In Your Face, which struggled to attract the mainstream attention achieved by its predecessor album Kingdom Come. The album managed to break into the top 50 of the Billboard 200 and the album had sold over 486,000 copies when the band suddenly broke up in August,1989, while in the middle of a co-headlining tour with the band Warrant.

Upon leaving Kingdom Come, Stag would later resurface with the band Royal Jelly, (Island Records, 1994). While on tour in America in 2008 during Rocklahoma, Lenny Wolf and the classic lineup of Kingdom Come reunited for a one off gig at a Los Angeles club, Stag was the only member not present at the reunion. He is the younger brother of former Pittsburgh Penguins TV play-by-play man Paul Steigerwald, former KDKA-TV Sportscaster John Steigerwald and ex-Pittsburgh newspaper writer/editor and author Bill Steigerwald.


Femejism is the second studio album by American rock duo Deap Vally. It was released in September 2016 by Nevado Music. The album was produced by Yeah Yeah Yeahs' guitarist Nick Zinner. He makes an appearance in the video for the first single, "Royal Jelly", which also featured the British model Georgia May Jagger.

Honey bee

A honey bee (also spelled honeybee) is a eusocial flying insect within the genus Apis of the bee clade. They are known for construction of perennial, colonial nests from wax, for the large size of their colonies, and for their surplus production and storage of honey, distinguishing their hives as a prized foraging target of many animals, including honey badgers, bears and human hunter-gatherers. In the early 21st century, only seven species of honey bee are recognized, with a total of 44 subspecies, though historically seven to eleven species are recognized. The best known honey bee is the western honey bee which has been domesticated for honey production and crop pollination; modern humans also value the wax for candlemaking, soapmaking, lip balms, and other crafts. Honey bees represent only a small fraction of the roughly 20,000 known species of bees. Some other types of related bees produce and store honey and have been kept by humans for that purpose, including the stingless honey bees, but only members of the genus Apis are true honey bees. The study of bees, which includes the study of honey bees, is known as melittology.

Honey bee life cycle

The honey bee life cycle, here referring exclusively to the domesticated Western honey bee, depends greatly on their social structure.


Jamu (old spelling Djamu) is a traditional medicine from Indonesia. It is predominantly a herbal medicine made from natural materials, such as roots, bark, flowers, seeds, leaves and fruits. Materials acquired from animals, such as honey, royal jelly, milk and ayam kampung eggs are also often used.

Jamu can be found throughout Indonesia, however it is most prevalent in Java, where Mbok Jamu, the traditional kain kebaya-wearing young to middle-aged Javanese woman carrying bamboo basket, filled with bottles of jamu on her back, travelling villages and towns alleys, offering her fares of traditional herbal medicine, can be found. In many large cities jamu herbal medicine is sold on the street by hawkers carry a refreshing drink, usually bitter but sweetened with honey or palm sugar. The traditional method of carrying .

Herbal medicine is also produced in factories by large companies such as Air Mancur, Nyonya Meneer or Djamu Djago, and sold at various drug stores in sachet packaging. Packaged dried jamu should be dissolved in hot water first before drinking. Nowadays herbal medicine is also sold in the form of tablets, caplets and capsules. These jamu brands are united in an Indonesian Herbal and Traditional Medicine Association, locally known as Gabungan Pengusaha Jamu (GP Jamu). Today, jamu is a growing local herbal medicine industry worth millions of dollars. In 2014, Jamu contributes Rp 3 trillion (US$73.29 million) to overall sales.

Jaymz Bee

Jaymz Bee (born April 13, 1963) is a Canadian musician, writer, emcee and radio personality based in Toronto, Ontario.

Jaymz Bee and the Royal Jelly Orchestra

Jaymz Bee and the Royal Jelly Orchestra is a Canadian lounge music and jazz band formed in Toronto. This group of about a dozen musicians, led by Bee, released eight albums of cover versions of well-known songs, reinterpreted for performance in cocktail lounges.

Johnny Edwards (musician)

John Douglas "Johnny" Edwards is an American rock singer who sang for the bands Buster Brown, Montrose, King Kobra, Wild Horses, Northrup, Royal Jelly and is best known as the second lead singer of the rock band Foreigner.

Major royal jelly protein

Major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs) are a family of proteins secreted by honey bee. The family consists of nine proteins, of which MRJP1 (also called royalactin), MRJP2, MRJP3, MRJP4, and MRJP5 are present in the royal jelly secreted by worker bees. MRJP1 is the most abundant, and largest in volume. The five proteins constitute 82-90% of the total proteins in a royal jelly. Royal jelly is a nutrient-rich mixture of vitamins, sugars, fats, proteins and enzymes. It is used for feeding the larvae. Royal jelly has been used in traditional medicine since ancient times, and the MRJPs are shown to be the main medicinal components. They are synthesised by a family of nine genes (mrjp genes), which are in turn members of the yellow family of genes such as in the fruitfly (Drosophila) and bacteria. They are attributed to be involved in differential development of queen larva and worker larvae, thus establishing division of labour in the bee colony.

Queen bee

The term queen bee is typically used to refer to an adult, mated female (gyne) that lives in a honey bee colony or hive; she is usually the mother of most, if not all, of the bees in the beehive. Queens are developed from larvae selected by worker bees and specially fed in order to become sexually mature. There is normally only one adult, mated queen in a hive, in which case the bees will usually follow and fiercely protect her.

The term "queen bee" can be more generally applied to any dominant reproductive female in a colony of a eusocial bee species other than honey bees. However, as in the Brazilian stingless bee Schwarziana quadripunctata, a single nest may have multiple queens or even dwarf queens, ready to replace a dominant queen in a case of sudden death.

Queen bee acid

The queen bee acid (10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid) or 10-HDA is a bio-active compound found in royal jelly.Royal jelly acid is being investigated for its pharmacological activities. Reports indicate that it promotes neurogenesis of neural stem/progenitor cells (cells capable of differentiating into neurons, astrocytes, or oligodendrocytes) in vitro and could provide an effective method to treat and prevent neurological disorders.In addition, royal jelly acid has been reported to have anti-tumor, anti-biotic, immunomodulatory, estrogenic, neurogenic, and innate immune response modulating activities.In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has taken legal action against companies that have used unfounded claims of health benefits to market royal jelly products.

Royal Jelly (short story)

"Royal Jelly" is a short horror story by Roald Dahl. It was included in Dahl's 1960 collection Kiss Kiss and his 1979 collection Tales of the Unexpected, and later published as a standalone volume in 2011 and included in the February 1983 issue of Twilight Zone Magazine.The story was adapted as an episode of the series Tales of the Unexpected in 1980, featuring Timothy West and Susan George as the couple.

Royal jelly (disambiguation)

Royal jelly is a substance secreted by honey bees to aid in the development of immature or young bees.

Royal jelly may also refer to:

"Royal Jelly" (short story), a short story by Roald Dahl

Jaymz Bee and the Royal Jelly Orchestra, a Canadian lounge music and jazz band

Royal Jelly, an album by American rock singer Johnny Edwards

Vitamins and
chemical elements ("minerals")
Other common ingredients
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