Royal Jelly

Title: Royal Jelly
Additional Names: Queen bee jelly; apilak; Weiselfuttersaft (German); Gelée royale (French)
Literature References: Secretion from the salivary glands of the worker honey bee which is essential for the development of queen bees. See also Queen Substance. Production from bee hives: Ritschel, Oesterr. Drogisten-Ztg. 12, 4-7 (1958). Synthetic mixture fed to bee larvae maintains life, but does not produce queens. The presence of hormones affecting mammals has not been demonstrated: Hinglais, Gautherie, Compt. Rend. 242, 2483 (1956). No practical utility in human nutrition because of the very large amounts required for any definite effect: Moreaux, Bull. Soc. Sci. Nancy 14, 49-53 (1955), C.A. 50, 13214f (1956). Review of composition and biological activity: A. D. Dayan, J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 12, 377-383 (1960). Monographs: B. deBelvefer, Royal Jelly (Paris, Librairie Maloine, 1958) 270 pp; H. Rembold, Biologically Active Substances in Royal Jelly in Vitam. Horm. 23, 359-382 (1965).
Properties: Milky white, highly viscous secretion. Analysis of fresh specimen (% wt at pH 5): moisture 65-70, protein 15-20, carbohydrate 10-15, lipid 1.7-6, ash 0.7-2.0; elemental analysis: P up to 0.5, S up to 0.6; trace elements present: Na, K, Fe, Cu, Mg, Mn, Ca. Vitamins (mg/g): thiamine 2, riboflavine 10, pyridoxine 2, nicotinic acid 75, biotin 2, folic acid 0.3, inositol 100, pantothenic acid 250, ascorbic acid 3-5, vitamin D trace, vitamin E trace. When stored at room temp, changes to a lightly yellow gum, and after some weeks, to a brittle amber solid.
Derivative Type: Royal jelly acid
Additional Names: trans-10-Hydroxy-D2-decenoic acid
Molecular Formula: C10H18O3
Molecular Weight: 186.25
Percent Composition: C 64.49%, H 9.74%, O 25.77%
Literature References: Constitutes ~10% of the dried royal jelly. Isoln: Townsend, Lucas, Biochem. J. 34, 1155 (1940); Butenandt, Rembold, Z. Physiol. Chem. 308, 284 (1957). Synthesis: Fray et al., Tetrahedron Lett. 4, 15 (1960); Smissman et al., J. Org. Chem. 29, 3517 (1964); Bestmann et al., Ann. 699, 33 (1966); J. Tsuji et al., Bull. Chem. Soc. Jpn. 50, 2507 (1977); T. Fujisawa et al., Chem. Lett. 1982, 219; R. Chiron, J. Chem. Ecol. 8, 709 (1982). Leukemia prevention in mice: Townsend et al., Nature 183, 1270 (1959).
Properties: Prisms from ether + petr ether or methanol + water, mp 64-65°. uv max: 211 nm (e 12000).
Melting point: mp 64-65°
Absorption maximum: uv max: 211 nm (e 12000)
Rubber Rubeanic Acid Ruberythric Acid Rubiadin Rubidium Bromide

Developing queen larvae surrounded by royal jelly

Royal jelly is a honey bee secretion that is used in the nutrition of larvae, as well as adult queens.[1] It is secreted from the glands in the hypopharynx of worker bees, and fed to all larvae in the colony, regardless of sex or caste.[2]

When worker bees decide to make a new queen, because the old one is either weakening or dead, they choose several small larvae and feed them with copious amounts of royal jelly in specially constructed queen cells. This type of feeding triggers the development of queen morphology, including the fully developed ovaries needed to lay eggs.[3]