What is Royal Jelly?

Royal jelly is a honey bee secretion that is used in the nutrition of larvae, the creation of a new queen bee and as the food for the adult queen bee throughout her life. Royal jelly is secreted from the glands of the hypopharynx in the worker bees head. Royal jelly is fed to all larvae in the colony regardless of sex or caste during the first three days of life. When worker bees sense the need for a replacement queen, they choose several one, two or three day old larvae and feed them large amounts of royal jelly in specially constructed queen cells. Feeding larvae royal jelly beyond day three leads to queen morphology. Queen morphology includes the development of egg laying ovaries.

Royal jelly is creamy in appearance and consistency, with a strong astringent/acidic and very mild venomous flavour. Its quality is reasonably consistent, influenced by the pollen diet and the general health of the secreting bees. The quantity of royal jelly produced per queen cell varies considerably based on the number of young nurse bees and the amount of food available. Abundant pollen and nectar will maximise royal jelly production. Royal jelly typically consists of water (67%), crude protein including many different types of amino acids (12.5%), simple sugars (11%) and fatty acids (5%). Royal jelly also contains trace elements, some enzymes, antibacterial and antibiotic components, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and trace amounts of vitamin C (Blackiston 2009).

Royal jelly is only collected by humans from queen cells where it is deposited in larger volumes and in advance of larvae consumption. Well managed hives are able to produce up to 7kg of royal jelly pa with production spanning over a 5-6 month spring and summer period. The small amount of production and high requirement for labour to graft the queen cells and manually extract the royal jelly means that the resultant product is expensive to produce.

Royal jelly is collected and sold as a human nutrition supplement, and used as an ingredient in cosmetic preparations. Benefits claimed by marketers of royal jelly include improved health, increased body mass, enhanced fertility and additional longevity. Cosmetics containing royal jelly are said to have anti-aging qualities. In many countries, royal jelly has been promoted as a commercially available medicine, health food, and cosmetic (as an emollient, moisturiser, and nourishing substance). Where royal jelly has been used in traditional medicine for longevity in Europe and Asia, it has also been sold as a skin tonic and hair growth stimulant.

Cultivation

Royal jelly is secreted from the glands in the heads of worker bees, and is fed to all bee larvae. After three days, the drone and worker larvae are no longer fed royal jelly, however, the queen larvae are continuously fed this special substance throughout the duration of their development. Royal jelly is harvested by stimulating colonies with movable frame hives to produce queen bees; when the queen larvae reach 4 days old, the jelly is then collected from each individual queen cell. Royal jelly is collected from queen cells due to the fact that 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, so they consume it as it is produced. The cells of queen larvae however 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 to 6 months can produce approximately 7kg of royal jelly. Since the product is perishable, producers must have immediate access to proper cold storage (e.g., refrigerator or freezer) in which the royal jelly is stored until it is sold or conveyed to a collection centre.

Health Benefits

The fascination with royal jelly and its dramatic effects on the growth and lifespan of the queen bee has led to the conduction of numerous scientific studies, where researchers try to determine whether the consumption or use of any of its properties can really benefit human beings. Read below to discover some of the more significant findings to date:

Antibiotic

As far back as 1959 the journal “Science” reported a study by Louisiana State University noting royal jelly’s antibiotic action on many fungae and bacteria.

Cancer

A paper by T Tamura and others, published in 1987 by the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan, reported that the product reduced slow-growing cancer tumours in mice.

Antibacterial

In 1990, the Biochemical Research Laboratory of the Morinaga Milk Industry Company in Kanagawa, Japan isolated a powerful antibacterial protein from royal jelly, that they named Royalisin.

Anti-inflammatory

A 1990 study on rats by the Nihon University School of Dentistry in Matsudo, Japan found royal jelly to be anti-inflammatory, improving the healing process in wounds.  (Note that honey too has long been known for its value in wound dressing, and in 2008 the British Journal of Community Nursing confirmed that it should be considered as an option for dressing chronic wounds).

Cholesterol

A study by J Vittek of the New York Medical College reported in the journal Experientia in 1995 stated that royal jelly decreased total serum cholesterol levels in rats and rabbits by about 14%.

Osteoporosis

Tests on rats in 2006 by the Fukuoka College of Health Sciences in Japan found evidence that royal jelly improves the absorption of calcium and may therefore help prevent osteoporosis.

There seems to be evidence that royal jelly could indeed do you some good. The bottom line is that royal jelly has been used by humans for thousands of years.  We know there could be some side-effects, we know there could be some benefits, and we know that there is still a lot we don’t know about this complex substance. We hope you now have some useful, balanced information that will help you to decide for yourself whether or not to give it a try.

Allergic Reactions

Royal jelly may cause allergic reactions in humans ranging from hives, to more severe and even life-threatening symptoms.

Side Effects

Signs and symptoms – What to do?
Life-threatening anaphylaxis may follow injections:

Symptoms include:

  • Immediate severe itching
  • Paleness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Loss of consciousness
What To Do

Call for help.

Don not leave the victim.

Begin CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation), mouth-to-mouth breathing and external cardiac massage. Have someone dial emergency. Don’t stop CPR until help arrives.

The incidence of allergic side effects in people that consume royal jelly is unknown. However, it has been suggested that the risk of having an allergy to royal jelly is higher in people who already have known allergies.

Market News

The Secret Of Royal Jelly

Bee Protection

Albert Einstein once stated “if the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live”. The bee species plays an integral role in not only the function of our earth’s ecosystem but our survival, and yet it is tragically one of the many species that has fallen victim to an increasing worldwide threat and potential endangerment. Although over 500 individual species of bees live to exist in South Australia alone, many individuals are blind and naive to the fact that this incredible class of insect can actually produce more than just honey.

On average, one third of your daily food intake is pollinated by bees alone. Pollination is one of our earth’s most fundamental ecological processes, and given that 90% of pollination requires animals, and the animal most commonly involved is in fact the bee, the importance of this particular insect is immediately apparent. But despite their incredible significance, the truth is our bees are under threat.

Bacterial diseases, fungicides and pesticides, habitat destruction, pathogens, poor bee keeping practices and climate change are all contributing factors to the decline and death of the bee population and their colonies – a syndrome better known as “Colony Collapse Disorder” (CCD).

Reversing the effects of these impending threats may seem impossible, but given the incredible contribution that Australia’s bees provide in order to maintain the economic and environmental viability of our ecosystem and agricultural industry, its value and importance is evident. Research, development and awareness are all key factors that play into the support and sustainability of not only the bee population, but our beloved Australian beekeeping industry. With growing media attention and much needed financial support, governments and public organisations are becoming increasingly aware of the current state, and are encouraging researchers around Australia to establish ways in which we can understand and eradicate the current and future threats.

What Is Royal Jelly?

What is Royal Jelly?

Royal jelly is a honey bee secretion that is used in the nutrition of larvae, the creation of a new queen bee and as the food for the adult queen bee throughout her life. Royal jelly is secreted from the glands of the hypopharynx in the worker bees head. Royal jelly is fed to all larvae in the colony regardless of sex or caste during the first three days of life. When worker bees sense the need for a replacement queen, they choose several one, two or three day old larvae and feed them large amounts of royal jelly in specially constructed queen cells. Feeding larvae royal jelly beyond day three leads to queen morphology. Queen morphology includes the development of egg laying ovaries.

Royal jelly is creamy in appearance and consistency, with a strong astringent/acidic and very mild venomous flavour. Its quality is reasonably consistent, influenced by the pollen diet and the general health of the secreting bees. The quantity of royal jelly produced per queen cell varies considerably based on the number of young nurse bees and the amount of food available. Abundant pollen and nectar will maximise royal jelly production. Royal jelly typically consists of water (67%), crude protein including many different types of amino acids (12.5%), simple sugars (11%) and fatty acids (5%). Royal jelly also contains trace elements, some enzymes, antibacterial and antibiotic components, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and trace amounts of vitamin C (Blackiston 2009).

Royal jelly is only collected by humans from queen cells where it is deposited in larger volumes and in advance of larvae consumption. Well managed hives are able to produce up to 7kg of royal jelly pa with production spanning over a 5-6 month spring and summer period. The small amount of production and high requirement for labour to graft the queen cells and manually extract the royal jelly means that the resultant product is expensive to produce.

Royal jelly is collected and sold as a human nutrition supplement, and used as an ingredient in cosmetic preparations. Benefits claimed by marketers of royal jelly include improved health, increased body mass, enhanced fertility and additional longevity. Cosmetics containing royal jelly are said to have anti-aging qualities. In many countries, royal jelly has been promoted as a commercially available medicine, health food, and cosmetic (as an emollient, moisturiser, and nourishing substance). Where royal jelly has been used in traditional medicine for longevity in Europe and Asia, it has also been sold as a skin tonic and hair growth stimulant.

Cultivation

Cultivation

Royal jelly is secreted from the glands in the heads of worker bees, and is fed to all bee larvae. After three days, the drone and worker larvae are no longer fed royal jelly, however, the queen larvae are continuously fed this special substance throughout the duration of their development. Royal jelly is harvested by stimulating colonies with movable frame hives to produce queen bees; when the queen larvae reach 4 days old, the jelly is then collected from each individual queen cell. Royal jelly is collected from queen cells due to the fact that 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, so they consume it as it is produced. The cells of queen larvae however 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 to 6 months can produce approximately 7kg of royal jelly. Since the product is perishable, producers must have immediate access to proper cold storage (e.g., refrigerator or freezer) in which the royal jelly is stored until it is sold or conveyed to a collection centre.

Health Benefits

Health Benefits

The fascination with royal jelly and its dramatic effects on the growth and lifespan of the queen bee has led to the conduction of numerous scientific studies, where researchers try to determine whether the consumption or use of any of its properties can really benefit human beings. Read below to discover some of the more significant findings to date:

Antibiotic

As far back as 1959 the journal “Science” reported a study by Louisiana State University noting royal jelly’s antibiotic action on many fungae and bacteria.

Cancer

A paper by T Tamura and others, published in 1987 by the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan, reported that the product reduced slow-growing cancer tumours in mice.

Antibacterial

In 1990, the Biochemical Research Laboratory of the Morinaga Milk Industry Company in Kanagawa, Japan isolated a powerful antibacterial protein from royal jelly, that they named Royalisin.

Anti-inflammatory

A 1990 study on rats by the Nihon University School of Dentistry in Matsudo, Japan found royal jelly to be anti-inflammatory, improving the healing process in wounds.  (Note that honey too has long been known for its value in wound dressing, and in 2008 the British Journal of Community Nursing confirmed that it should be considered as an option for dressing chronic wounds).

Cholesterol

A study by J Vittek of the New York Medical College reported in the journal Experientia in 1995 stated that royal jelly decreased total serum cholesterol levels in rats and rabbits by about 14%.

Osteoporosis

Tests on rats in 2006 by the Fukuoka College of Health Sciences in Japan found evidence that royal jelly improves the absorption of calcium and may therefore help prevent osteoporosis.

There seems to be evidence that royal jelly could indeed do you some good. The bottom line is that royal jelly has been used by humans for thousands of years.  We know there could be some side-effects, we know there could be some benefits, and we know that there is still a lot we don’t know about this complex substance. We hope you now have some useful, balanced information that will help you to decide for yourself whether or not to give it a try.

Allergic Reactions

Allergic Reactions

Royal jelly may cause allergic reactions in humans ranging from hives, to more severe and even life-threatening symptoms.

Side Effects

Signs and symptoms – What to do?
Life-threatening anaphylaxis may follow injections:

Symptoms include:

  • Immediate severe itching
  • Paleness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Loss of consciousness
What To Do

Call for help.

Don not leave the victim.

Begin CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation), mouth-to-mouth breathing and external cardiac massage. Have someone dial emergency. Don’t stop CPR until help arrives.

The incidence of allergic side effects in people that consume royal jelly is unknown. However, it has been suggested that the risk of having an allergy to royal jelly is higher in people who already have known allergies.

Market News

Market News

The Secret Of Royal Jelly
Bee Protection

Bee Protection

Albert Einstein once stated “if the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live”. The bee species plays an integral role in not only the function of our earth’s ecosystem but our survival, and yet it is tragically one of the many species that has fallen victim to an increasing worldwide threat and potential endangerment. Although over 500 individual species of bees live to exist in South Australia alone, many individuals are blind and naive to the fact that this incredible class of insect can actually produce more than just honey.

On average, one third of your daily food intake is pollinated by bees alone. Pollination is one of our earth’s most fundamental ecological processes, and given that 90% of pollination requires animals, and the animal most commonly involved is in fact the bee, the importance of this particular insect is immediately apparent. But despite their incredible significance, the truth is our bees are under threat.

Bacterial diseases, fungicides and pesticides, habitat destruction, pathogens, poor bee keeping practices and climate change are all contributing factors to the decline and death of the bee population and their colonies – a syndrome better known as “Colony Collapse Disorder” (CCD).

Reversing the effects of these impending threats may seem impossible, but given the incredible contribution that Australia’s bees provide in order to maintain the economic and environmental viability of our ecosystem and agricultural industry, its value and importance is evident. Research, development and awareness are all key factors that play into the support and sustainability of not only the bee population, but our beloved Australian beekeeping industry. With growing media attention and much needed financial support, governments and public organisations are becoming increasingly aware of the current state, and are encouraging researchers around Australia to establish ways in which we can understand and eradicate the current and future threats.

Learn More About Bee Healthy Australia