Royal jelly is a substance secreted from glands in the worker honeybees' heads. This substance is fed to all larvae until the larvae is 3 days old. At this point, they stop feeding it to worker & drone larvae, and if a new queen is needed, the workers will continue to feed large amounts of royal jelly to larvae they have selected to be new queens. The continual feeding of royal jelly to queen larvae develops the queens' ovaries enabling her to lay future eggs.
Royal jelly is composed of 67% water, 12.5% crude protein, small amounts of many different amino acids, and 11% simple sugars (monosaccharides), and 5% fatty acids. It also contains trace minerals, some enzymes, antibacterial and antibiotic components, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and trace amounts of vitamin C. The key ingredient in royal jelly which aids in developing queens
is the protein, royalactin.
Humans use royal jelly as a dietary aid & for skin care. Royal jelly can cause allergic reactions such as hives, asthma, & even fatal anaphylaxis. The cause is unknown but the reaction is higher with individuals who have other allergies.