Royal Jelly: The Cinderella Substance

Is Royal Jelly the Glass Slipper?


For years beekeepers and scientist were all mystified by the transformation process of a worker bee turning into a queen.

Photo from wired.com Photo from wired.com


Here's what we did know:

  • Biologically all female honeybees are born the same.

  • If you only feed Royal Jelly to a baby bee, they will turn into a Queen Bee.

  • Worker bees eat pollen and honey and bee bread  (enzymes, honey, pollen, and the phytochemical p-coumaric acid).

  • A Queen Bee can live up to 6 years (averages 2-3), but the worker bee only lives around 6 weeks.

  • Queen Bees are the only honeybees to lay fertilized eggs.


Otherwise, we only knew Royal Jelly 'magically' turned the worker bee into a queen.  The longtime unknown  "magical" process of turning a worker bee into a queen is what led us to nickname Royal Jelly "The Cinderella Substance."

The Whole Fairy Tale


It's not just what the Queen Bees are eating, it's what they're not eating.  All worker bees are fed Royal Jelly the first three days of their lives.  A 2015 study, reported in the journal Science Advances, discovered a major change in the worker bees' gene function when they started to eat bee bread, specifically the p-coumaric acid. “Consuming the phytochemical p-coumaric acid, which is ubiquitous in beebread and honey, alters the expression of a whole suite of genes involved in caste determination,” said University of Illinois entomology professor and department head May Berenbaum,  The plant chemical, p-coumaric acid, actually prevents the worker bees' reproductive organs from developing.

The Rest of the Story


sbc_ingredient_royaljelly_webHoney bees have three reasons they will create new queens.   If their queen passes or goes missing, if they are superseding their queen, or if they are going to swarm they will create several new queens. When a new queen is needed, worker bees place several female larvae (babies) into individual cells filled with Royal Jelly.   The first Queen Bee to hatch will sing a G battle cry, called pipping, letting the other bees know she's ready for battle.  She will track the other queens down in their cells and kill them before they hatch.  If two queens hatch simultaneously, they have a battle royal to see who takes the crown.  So really, it's more like Game of Thrones.

Happily Ever After...


Now that you know the whole story you know Royal Jelly is the good stuff.  Queen Bees can live six years while the others only live a matter of weeks. The magical substance has been touted as a treatment for all kinds of things from infertility to increased metabolism. We do know that Royal Jelly is a complex protein- that's good for you from the inside out.  Want to try some of the magic?  You can find this Cinderella substance in many of our products - our new Royal Jelly and White Hibiscus Dry Facial Mask, our signature Royal Jelly Body Butter line, as well as our Shampoo and Conditioner.