Fit For A Queen
According to legend, King Arthur gained the crown by pulling a sword from a rock. Queen honeybees have an equally enchanting way of ascending to the throne: royal jelly!
This special jelly is made of water, proteins, fatty acids, organic acids, vitamins and minerals. These substances are mixed with bee milk, a liquid produced by young worker bees.
When the reigning queen begins to show signs of old age, worker bees select her successors from among the developing queen bee larvae. Although all baby bees are fed royal jelly at first, queen bee larvae receive extra helpings and continue to be fed the rich food longer than regular larvae. The jelly fed to developing queens is also packed with higher concentrations of sugar and various proteins.
The results are spectacular. Thanks to their super-nutritious diet, queen bees grow up to 1.5 times larger than regular bees, live 40 times longer than normal bees, and lay up to 2,000 eggs per day.
Inevitably, entrepreneurs have attempted to capitalize on royal jelly by creating jelly-infused dietary supplements that supposedly make people stronger and more virile. But don't go spreading royal jelly on your toast just yet. Although it does the trick for bees, there's no solid proof that the stuff will make you king or queen for even a day.
"What Are the Substances in Royal Jelly?" (MadSci Network)