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Royal Jelly is the miraculous foodstuff responsible for the mutation of an ordinary honeybee egg into a Queen of the hive. Royal Jelly is a substance that has the approximate consistency, colour and appearance of condensed milk with a slight cheesy smell. Royal Jelly is actually the milk of worker bees, they secrete it from special glands much the same as mammals produce milk.
Worker bees develop from fertilized eggs laid in selected cells within the comb, and the egg that will develop into a queen is indistinguishable from a worker egg at the time it is laid, the only difference is in the shape of the cell - which is larger and points downwards vertically. By the time of birth however, the queen is larger and different anatomically. The only reason for this difference is that the Queen egg was fed Royal Jelly.
Worker bee larvae and queen bee larvae are both fed on a diet of Royal Jelly at the start of their lives. After 3 days, the workers are changed to a mixture of Royal Jelly, honey and pollen whilst in contrast the future queen continues to receive a rich diet of pure Royal Jelly. The result of the queen's sole subsistance on this super food, is her metamorphosis from a mere worker bee into her Royal appointment as Queen!
Because of her Royal Jelly diet, the Queen can grow up to 60% bigger than that of a normal worker bee. The life span of the Queen can much longer, in some cases up to 6 years compared to only 5 or 6 weeks for a worker bee. Not only that, the queen lays between 2 and 3 thousand eggs per day which is up to 2.5 times her own body weight - that's a lot of eggs! And all this results from the Royal Jelly diet fed to the Queen bee, by her attendants. It truly is one of those wonders of nature!
Experiments done in the early part of the last century looked at the effect of a Royal Jelly diet on other insects. They produced some remarkable results. The life span of the insects that were fed on Royal Jelly increased by as much as 30 to 50% and in some cases as much as 200%! The insects that were fed Royal Jelly also manifested extra-ordinary reproductive activity.
Royal Jelly really is the "bee's knees". It has a high content of B-complex vitamins such as thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) and pyridoxine (vitamin B6). The overall composition of Royal Jelly is 67% water, 12.5% crude protein (including small amounts of many different amino acids), and 11% simple sugars (monosaccharides), also including a relatively high amount (5%) of fatty acids. It also contains many trace minerals like potassium, calcium, zinc, iron and copper, some enzymes, antibacterial, antiviral and antibiotic components, and trace amounts of other vitamins.
The most unique substances in Royal Jelly are the hydroxy fatty acids known as 10-HDA. These fatty acids are responsible for the many known reported health benefits of Royal Jelly. Research shows that 10-HDA destroys bacteria and microbes. 10-HDA is only found in Royal Jelly and cannot be re-produced by man, in a laboratory artificially.
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