The Queen’s Delight: How Bees Use Royal Jelly
What is Royal Jelly?
Royal Jelly is a highly nutritious food that honey bees produce to feed the young larvae and Queen of their colony, who gets fed a diet mainly consisting of Royal Jelly. The enzymes in this nourishing jelly help her lay more than her body weight in eggs every day! Honey Bees make it by combining pollen, honey, water with some extraordinary processes inside the heads of nurse bees. Royal jelly has many different biological functions, such as antioxidant protection for cells and boosting immunity, resulting in higher life spans.
Why do Honey Bees use Royal Jelly?
Honey Bees use royal jelly to control larva development into queens and produce new royalty when necessary. Honey bees only continue to feed unique larvae past day 3 with royal jelly to develop them into a Queen. Honey Bees also use royal jelly to protect young 1-3 day old Honey Bee larvae from disease. Honey Bee Larvae Develop into Honey Bees and have a diet of Honey, Pollen, and Water. Honey Bee Workers feed their Queen only Royal Jelly during her development in one of her hive cells, and then resume feeding her Royal Jelly once she returns from her mating flight and begins laying eggs!
How does Royal Jelly Work?
Royal Jelly is a complex compound that consists of chemicals like pheromones, which stimulate the development of worker bees into adult bees with healthy reproductive organs. Honey bees also use royal jelly to protect the hive from disease, and it’s believed to have anti-aging properties. Royal jelly helps queen bees maintain their body weight while laying thousands of eggs per day and living up to 5 years! Honeybees also use honey as an antibiotic to protect the hive from disease.
Honey bees have been around for millions of years and are possibly the most crucial pollinator in our ecosystem. Honey bee populations worldwide have dropped by 50% since 1947 due to significant losses from habitat loss, pesticide use, diseases, and more. To change this trend, we must take a closer look at what is happening inside their heads! Honeybees rely on Royal Jelly as a critical nutrient that helps them develop into Queens when necessary while also protecting the hive against disease-causing pathogens.