Royal jelly is a substance is derived from bees, although it is different in both composition and use to honey, which is the most recognized product that comes from bees. It is secreted by glands in the worker bees’ heads, in order to feed larvae within the colony. The royal jelly is given to all larvae, but the adult bees never consume the Royal Jelly.
Due to the fact that Royal Jelly is able to silence a certain gene in the DNA of bees, it is given in higher amounts to larvae that have been designated to receive larger portions by the queen. These larvae are known as the queen larvae, and will be able to develop ovaries as a result of the special feeding, making them the upcoming new queens of the colony. They are also the only bees that will be able to lay eggs, once fully developed.
For this reason, when humans go to collect the Royal Jelly from a hive, they only harvest it from the queen larvae honeycombs, because the worker bee larvae are given the royal jelly directly, and there is none left over to harvest.
On average, about 500g of Royal Jelly can be harvested from a hive during a six month period. After cultivation the Royal Jelly needs to be placed directly into a cold area, otherwise it will breakdown quickly. From this point it is usually either sold by the cultivator, or transferred to a long term storage facility.
There are many uses for Royal Jelly due to the fact that it has a high vitamin, mineral, and enzyme composition. In particular, it has a high amount of B6 and B5 as well as a large amount of protein, and slight traces of Vitamin C.
While there are many medical conditions that Royal Jelly is thought to be useful in treating, it is only been scientifically proven to help a few disorders. Among these is the treatment of Graves disease, and in helping prevent the vascularization of tumours.
There is also some evidence that suggests that Royal Jelly may help prevent the threat of cancer spreading to other areas in the body, as well as other progressive diseases, although more experimentation and evidence will need to be found to support this theory.
Medically speaking, there is also some proof that Royal Jelly may be able to help reduce signs of aging, due to its antioxidant properties, as well to treat multiple sclerosis, menopause, heart disease, and high cholesterol.
Due to its moisturizing properties Royal Jelly can also be found in a wide range of cosmetic products, as well as beauty products in general, such as lip balms, hand creams, conditioners, shampoos, and many more.
The use of royal jelly should be avoided by some however as it has been found that those who already have existing allergies may suffer allergic reactions by coming in contact with the substance including asthma, hives, and sometimes even anaphylactic shock.