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Royal Jelly

Written By Blogs owner SidikRizal on Jumat, 04 Januari 2008 | 02.10

Royal jelly is a honey bee secretion that is used in the nutrition of the larvae. It is secreted from the hypopharyngeal glands in the heads of young workers and used (amongst other substances) to feed all of the larvae in the colony, including those destined to become workers.

If a queen is needed, the hatchling will receive only royal jelly - and in large quantities - as its food source for the first four days of its growth, and this rapid, early feeding triggers the development of queen morphology, including the fully developed ovaries needed to lay eggs. 

Some commercial royal jelly suppliers disseminate misinformation such as "Only queen larvae and adult queens are fed royal jelly"; the fact remains that all larvae in a colony are fed royal jelly, and adult bees do not consume it at all.[1]

Royal jelly is produced by stimulating colonies with movable frame hives to produce queen bees. Royal jelly is collected from each individual queen cell when the larva is about four days old. It is collected from queen cells because 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 larva 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 500g 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 centre.
This product is combined with honey, or beeswax for preservation, as it spoils easily.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_jelly

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