Frequently Asked Questions about Royal Jelly
Q – What is Royal Jelly? –
A – Quite simply, it is a creamy yellow substance secreted by worker bees in the beehive for the nourishment of the Queen bee. (secretion from the hypopharyngeal glands located on either side of the head of a bee).
Q – What is a Queen Bee?
A – The Queen starts life in the hive just like any worker/nurse bee. She is selected randomly by the workers for Queen status, and fed an exclusive diet of royal jelly. The diet then turns her into the remarkable being that she is, living forty times longer than the worker bees. So it is this special substance which makes the queen bee, she is not born as royalty!, she is made that way by her exclusive diet.
Q – How is it collected? –
A – it is only present in the hive in very small quantities. Accessing it requires a similar approach to removal of other hive substances, but in a much more involved process. The Queen is removed from the hive, providing access to the queen larvae cells which are cut away by the beekeeper in order to access the royal jelly.
Q – What is in it? –
A – Lipids, minerals, vitamins (A, C, E, and B), amino acids, sugars, sterols, phosphorus, fatty acids, acetylcholine, nucleic acids, gelatin, gamma globulin, decanoic acid (an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal component), and several components which are unidentified and therefore cannot be recreated in a lab.
Q – What’s the difference between fresh and freeze-dried royal jelly ?
A – This question is asked of us more than any other. There are a couple companies around who make a big marketing deal out of selling “fresh” royal jelly. In doing so, they naturally claim that if it’s freeze-dried then it isn’t fresh and isn’t as good. Baloney. First of all, much of the so-called “fresh” products are not fresh at all, they are reconstituted powder that has been re-liquified with water and other solubles.
Why?. Well, once it is removed fresh from the hive it has around a 12 hour window for it to be “locked-down”. If it isn’t processed in this time-frame it loses its potency and starts to go bad. So it can either be frozen, where it obviously needs to be thawed for any subsequent processing (into capsules, vials etc), or it can be freeze-dried (the water removed) whereupon it becomes stable and can be stored/processed.
The vast majority of product on the market today has been freeze-dried upon removal from the hive. It’s the most effective way to handle and process the medium, and has no detriment to the nutritional value of the substance, provided it is done right.
Certain companies take the freeze-dried powder and add liquid, capsulate it, and sell it on as “fresh liquid royal jelly“. It sure looks fresh, but it has been processed twice.
Others take the frozen product and sell it in jars, claiming that freeze-dried is somehow “no good”. Well, you’re selling frozen product, so how can freeze-drying be no good?…it’s removing the water only, nothing else.
The upshot is, you’ll need to be careful and read between the lines of what people are telling you. If they’re screaming “fresh is good” – “freeze-dried is bad” and there pills contain only around 150mg, and there packaging looks like it’s made for the Television commercials, then we suggest that you be very wary about believing anything that they are telling you.
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