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What is Royal Jelly?

GloryBee Royal Jelly

Royal Jelly is made by bees to feed their young and is the sole food for the queen bee throughout her life. Thriving on this diet, the queen bee will live up to fifty times longer than the average worker bee. Each day of her extraordinary life she will lay more than 1500 eggs, ensuring the survival of the hive. GloryBee Royal Jelly is available fresh frozen, lyophilized (dried), in capsules and as a powder. 

About GloryBee Royal Jelly

GloryBee is one of the largest distributors of fresh royal jelly on the West Coast.  When GloryBee was founded in 1975, we had our own bee hives and honey production, however demand soon outstripped what we could supply and we began obtaining products from other beekeepers. All of our products are sourced according to strict quality assurance standards, working with a variety of carefully chosen suppliers, many of whom we’ve been partnering with for decades.

The fresh royal jelly we distribute comes from a supplier in China we have worked with for over 20 years.  We fully trust the quality of product they produce. With very little royal jelly production in the United States or other countries, we need to source our royal jelly from China. The United States beekeeping industry is geared toward honey production and pollination. Royal jelly is difficult to produce and requires a large number of strong colonies to be an effective business. Few domestic beekeepers pursue royal jelly production. China, by contrast, has used royal jelly in traditional medicine for hundreds of years, and there is a much steadier demand for production. As a result, the Chinese beekeeping industry is more familiar with royal jelly production and is much better equipped to produce royal jelly on a large scale.

Royal Jelly in queen cell

Unfortunately, some beekeepers in China have severely damaged the reputation of China’s otherwise strong beekeeping industry. There have been reports in the past where beekeepers used prohibited antibiotics or somehow adulterated or diluted bee products to lower their costs. Every batch of royal jelly GloryBee imports is tested for potency and for prohibited substances. Due to our longstanding relationship with our supplier, we can ensure that they utilize quality harvesting practices and produce only the highest quality royal jelly.  To ensure this quality, we test every batch of royal jelly we receive in a third-party lab so our customers can feel confident in the quality of what they’re buying.

Why is Royal Jelly Special?

queen cells for royal jellyRoyal jelly is produced by the nurse bees that care for the queen and the brood in the hive. The queen bee will consume nothing but royal jelly during her entire life, which is about fifty times longer than the life of an average worker bee. In nature, when a colony needs to make a new queen, the workers will build several wax queen cells. These are larger versions of normal hexagonal cells used for brood and for honey. The existing queen will then lay eggs into those cells, and the nurse bees will cover the eggs and larvae with royal jelly. The nurse bees continue to give these cells royal jelly until the pupae hatch as full-grown queens. The hatched queens then fight it out – and the survivor is the new queen of the colony.   

Commercial royal jelly production mimics this process. The beekeeper will insert fake queen cell “starts” into the hive (a plastic or wax cup that’s the right size for them to build queen cells on). Instinctively, the workers will build these out into full queen cells and the queen will lay an egg in each one. The nurse bees then fill them with royal jelly. At the perfect moment, the beekeeper will remove those cells from the colony and use a small suction tool to extract the royal jelly from each cup. The larvae are filtered out and the royal jelly is chilled immediately. This is a time consuming and painstaking process that requires a strong colony and very close attention of the beekeeper. If the beekeepers pulls the cells too early or too late, there won’t be enough royal jelly. This process requires very precise timing and it takes numerous queen cells to make a single ounce of royal jelly.

Temperature and Potency

royal jelly queen cell on combThe potency of royal jelly is measured by the amount of 10HDA it contains. 10HDA is a fatty acid that’s unique to royal jelly and breaks down when not kept cold. The amount of 10HDA Royal Jelly is generally indicative of its potency. In nature, this fatty acid occurs at a percentage of between 1.5% and 2.2%. Fresh Royal jelly that has a 10-HDA percentage of this range is considered good to excellent quality. Any reputable producer or distributor of royal jelly should be able to provide a Certificate of Analysis from an independent laboratory to verify the content. It is difficult to measure the effects of warmth on royal jelly over time, so GloryBee takes precautions to ensure the product our customers receive is protected at every step from production to delivery. When we import our fresh royal jelly, we bring it in temperature-controlled freight, and we store it fully frozen. When it comes time to ship, we send the royal jelly in insulated packaging with ice, and require either overnight or 2-day shipping to ensure it remains cold for maximum potency.

Suggested Royal Jelly Storage

Product shelf life is dependent on storage conditions and is highly variable. Products should be stored in a cool, dry atmosphere from 35°F to 45°F. Keep away from direct light and heat. Industry standard for Royal Jelly when stored frozen is 3 years.

Royal Jelly Nutrition

  • 12-13% Protein, 12-15% Carbohydrates, 5-6% Beneficial Lipids (Including Vitamins & Minerals)
  • High in B vitamin panthothenic acid 
  • Contains Minerals like: Calcium, Copper, Iron, Phosphorous, Potassium
  • 17 amino acids including the 8 essential amino acids