MadSci Network: Zoology

Re: What are the substances in royal jelly?

Date: Sat Sep 11 11:57:42 1999
Posted By: Kieran Kelly, consultant
Area of science: Zoology
ID: 936814454.Zo

I (myself a beekeeper) am so glad you asked!  But before I get straight to 
the details, I am going to recommend a great apicultural resource called 
"The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Beekeeping".  You can find lots of 
literature on bees and beekeeping in your local library or on the web if 
you want more information.  My quick search showed a great site at  Just look for key words like 
apiculture or beekeeping, or for literature authored by Roger A. Morse, a 
well-known professor from Cornell University.

But, to get back to the answer: royal jelly is composed of water, proteins, 
fatty acids, organic acids, vitamins and minerals.  It is produced from a 
combination of a liquid called bee milk and other regurgitated 
carbohydrates (sugars).  "Bee milk" is the secretion of the hypopharyngeal 
and mandibular glands of worker bees less than 18 days old.  The digestion 
of large amounts of pollen these young bees have eaten is essential to the 
production of certain organic acids and vitamin B in the bee milk (no pun 

The interesting thing is that both workers and queens are fed bee milk as 
larvae but in different proportions.  The royal jelly fed to queens is 
higher in pantothenic acid, biopterin and neopterin than the worker jelly.

So, I hope I have helped to answer your question.  And again, there is a 
lot of great literature available by Prof. Morse if you want to know more 
about bees and beekeeping.  It is a wonderful hobby!


Current Queue | Current Queue for Zoology | Zoology archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Zoology.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-1999. All rights reserved.