What is Royal Jelly?


Queen Cell

Here at the Savannah Bee Company, we commonly use four different hive ingredients in our Health and Beauty product line, honey, beeswax, propolis, and royal jelly. Honey is a natural cleanser and skin softener. Beeswax protects the skin and prevents water loss. Propolis is known for its antibiotic and antiseptic qualities. But, what is royal jelly?

Royal jelly is a substance secreted from glands near the head region of worker bees. In the honeybee hive environment, royal jelly may be thought of as a combination baby food and queen food. The technical term for baby bees is larvae. All honeybee larvae are fed royal jelly for the first few days of their lives. It’s like a heavy dose of mega-nutrition to get the young bee off on the right foot. The feeding of the future queen bee is a bit more interesting. Worker bees will begin the process of “growing” a new queen by completely filling a special cell in the comb called a queen cell with royal jelly. The larvae selected to be the future queen spends her early days literally swimming in royal jelly. Interestingly, at this point, she is genetically identical to all other worker bee larvae. It is, in fact, the prolonged feeding of royal jelly that initiates her genetic transformation into the Queen! This individual will continue to be fed royal jelly for the remainder of her life, which is quite long by worker bee standards. So, consumption of royal jelly by the future queen actually transforms her into the queen phenotype (fancy word for body type). In addition, this miraculous secretion allows this individual to live up to five years compared to the eight-month average lifespan of the typical worker bee.

Although royal jelly is mostly water, it is very nutritious. Royal jelly contains a fair amount of protein, trace minerals, and vitamins (particularly high levels of B vitamins).  Royal Jelly is a key ingredient in several of our Health and Beauty products. Check out the Savannah Bee Health and Beauty line today!

Products including royal jelly:

Beeswax Lip Balms

Beeswax Hand Cream

Royal Jelly Body Butter

Savannah Bee Shampoo

Savannah Bee Body Wash


Submitted By: Brantley Crowder

Comments (15)

  1. Kayla Green says:

    For five years I have tried to treat a skin problem on my foot. I have used the strongest topical prescription for fungus, but recently discovered the problem is an allergic reaction. I decided to try the royal jelly body butter to help alleviate the symptoms. (I was inspired to try it because honey was one thing that helped my other allergies when I was a child.) To my surprise, it relieves the itching and painful skin like no other cream or salve! Thank you for this product!

  2. Lorin says:

    I’ve yet to find any information supporting the possibility of sustainably harvesting royal jelly. There are so many other alternatives for radiant skin that don’t have this type of impact. As most of us are aware, the health of our honey bees is at a critical point and propolis, beeswax, royal jelly and honey harvesting (particularly commercial harvesting) all affect hive health to a detrimental effect.

  3. Cheer says:

    I have read several of the reviews here and I have to wonder if this product may help eczema?

    1. Jess says:

      Many of our customers tell us that the products we make using royal jelly are effective against their eczema. Give it a try!

  4. Melissa says:

    I was given the blue box royal jelly body butter as a birthday gift from a coworker and I can’t thank her enough! I’m an RN so my hands are dry all year. First time I put it on, my skin felt great! You have a great product and I’ll definitely be ordering more when mines gone!

  5. Mary Clark says:

    Thank you sharing this information with all of us. I m also using royal jelly for boosting my immune system. Royal jelly is very good alternative for that. The health benefits of royal jelly are extensive. There are side effects related to asthma in the consumption of royal jelly, but cases are extremely rare. It is safe for the majority of people to take. For more information you can also visit http://www.comvita.com/key-ingredients/royal-jelly/1200142 online.

  6. Roberta says:

    I visited the Savannah store right after Christmas and took my purchase home to Colorado. I have been using the “Royal Butter” in the blue box since my return. My skin as transformed into a soft, supple canvas! The climate is extremely dry here and this is exactly what my face needed! A lip balm was purchased by my daughter for me so I use both of these products daily ..and…I LOVE it! Thank you for not only an informative and honest website but also for a great product that I will be ordering on a regular basis.

  7. Samantha says:

    They do not advertise this as a solution to stretch marks, but when I place this Royal Jelly Body Butter on my stretch marks they do seem diminished and more comfortable. I love this stuff. I’m in California and would/do order this online.

    1. brantley says:

      A couple of years ago one of our online customers told me she had been using the body butter on her face for several years. I took her tip and started using the body butter on my face as well. The results were instant and amazing. Royal Jelly Body Butter immediately brings a glow of even color to my face. Over time it has virtually eliminated my crows feet. I am a 45 year old male and I consider the body butter my secret weapon.

  8. Andrea Pett says:

    I love your products-we recently had a hive safely relocated from our yard and the beekeeper was explaining the process to me for extracting Royal Jelly and he said all the queens become trash/byproducts of the process, basically used for their jelly then discarded-Can you confirm? is your process more cruelty free? Thanks

    1. brantley says:

      Hi Andrea, unfortunately you have discovered the dark under-belly of beekeeping. It is true that the larval queen dies when the royal jelly is harvested from the queen cells. Typically this would-be queen is only a few days old and still very much in her larval stage. Interestingly, I asked the same question of our head Beekeeper when I was writing the royal jelly post. His response brought me a little comfort (at least by way of rationalization). He said that any apiary that is collecting royal jelly on a production level is also taking care of and supporting hundreds, if not thousands, of beehives. So, these beekeepers are raising millions of honey bees each year. I did find that around ten years ago one study used “fake” larvae in their Queen cells experimentally to see if the workers would respond by filling the cells with royal jelly. This study failed and none of the cells received any royal jelly. Savannah Bee does not produce royal jelly for commercial purposes. We outsource this ingredient for our health and beauty line from a very reputable apiary.

  9. Kim says:

    Thank you for such an interesting article.

    How is Royal Jelly harvested?

    1. brantley says:

      To harvest royal jelly a beekeeper will use beeswax and create several mock “queen cells”. These queen cells are attached to frames and placed into a queenless hive. In preparation for a queen the worker bees will manufacture surplus royal jelly and fill each of these queen cells. The beekeeper will watch these cells very closely and remove them as soon as they are filled by the worker bees. A queen cell is about the size of a thimble if not smaller, so the royal jelly is harvested in many tiny amounts. As you might imagine, this is very tedious work!

  10. Salima says:

    The royal butter “in the blue box” is AMAZING!!!!! It feels like heaven in a jar. I said that to the lady in the store in Cape May NJ!! lol. I will be ordering online since I am in VA!

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