honey bee myths royal jelly

Monday morning myth: royal jelly is good for you

Royal jelly is not just good food, it is great food—for honey bees. But let’s leave it at that. Just because it’s a super food for honey bees doesn’t mean it’s the same for humans.

Consider this: with a little help from their symbiotic friends, termites eat wood. The termites grow healthy and strong and have few problems with heart disease and cancer. Termites are never arrested for drunk driving and not one has ever failed a college entrance exam. But if you serve a log to your toddler for dinner, your parenting skills will definitely be called into question.

And how about dung beetles? They eat dung. This super food meets their nutritional requirement for vitamins, minerals, and energy. I’ve heard that the baby beetles grow strong, are never unemployed, and seldom need orthodontics. All the essentials of dung beetledom are found in one slippery package. But feed the same to your family and child protective services will relieve you of all further responsibility.

According to various sources, royal jelly is about 68 percent water, 13 percent crude protein, 11 percent sugar, and 5 percent fatty acids. The rest is a variety of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes—none of which are unique to royal jelly. There are no miraculous components or secret ingredients. It will not cure your disease, improve your sex life, or make you rich and famous. It is not regulated by the FDA and no scientific studies have shown it to affect human health one way or the other.

Regardless of the inanity, people pay top dollar so they can eat royal jelly. How strange is that? It is extremely difficult to collect so it is very pricey. But no matter how much you pay or how much royal jelly you eat, you will never be queen, not even for a day. Trust me.

So save your money and let the bees keep their royal jelly. It’s their province and they deserve it. Besides, we humans have chocolate, so how can we complain?



  • Who ever wrote this (Rusty) must be insane.

    Chocolate over royal jelly? How uneducated and foolish you are.

    Go read some books and do your research before you cough up a whole heap of b.s!

    • I already read the books, did the research, and got the education. Royal jelly is for bees, but you can waste your money any way you want with my blessing. Go for it.

    • That is a very strong response for an article about queen bee food. Eat some vegetables instead and you won’t be any worse off for not stealing from a “baby” bee. Sheesh..

  • Even better – consume french fry. It is originally designed by Mother Nature for the pigs and any way it is better for you and approved by the FDA.

  • This part is only for believers not for skeptics.

    RJ is one of the most attractive ingredients for healthy foods. RJ is extensively used as cosmetic or dietary supplement due to the belief that it exerts similar effects on human beings as it does on honeybees. RJ has been demonstrated to possess several pharmacological activities in experimental animals, including vasodilative and hypotensive activities (Shinoda et al., 1978), increase in growth rate (Kawamura, 1961), disinfectant action (Yatsunami & Echigo, 1985), antitumour activity ([Tamura et al., 1987] and [Townsend et al., 1961]), antihypercholesterolemic activity (Nakajin, Okiyama, Yamashita, Akiyama, & Shinoda, 1982) and anti-inflammatory activity (Fujii et al., 1990). In addition, antiaging ([Iannuzzi, 1990], [Inoue et al., 2003] and [Rembold, 1965]), hypoglycaemic ( [Dixit and Patel, 1964], [Fujii et al., 1990] and [Kramer et al., 1977]) and antitumoral ([Townsend et al., 1961] and [Townsend et al., 1959]), are some of the properties attributed to RJ.

    Chemical composition analysis has shown that RJ consists of a large number of bioactive substances such as 10-HDA, antibacterial protein (Fujiwara et al., 1990), a stimulating factor for the development of genital organs in male mice (Kato, Onodera, & Ishijima, 1988) and 350 kDa protein (Watanabe et al., 1998) that stimulates the proliferation of human monocytes. Therefore, RJ has been widely used in commercial medical products, health foods and cosmetics in many countries (Nagai, Sakai, Inoue, Inoue, & Suzuki, 2001).

  • To Honeybee and all you believers:

    It still doesn’t say anywhere that it transforms aging human beauty queens into nubile nymphets. And I’ll betcha that’s where 93% of the sales go.

    Royal jelly’s aura first came from the perception that it can “transform” a sterile worker into a fertile queen. But if you think about it, each and every queen begins as a worker (i.e. female) egg, don’t they? There are no queen eggs, merely genetic females given enough nutrition to mature sexually. So, no miraculous transformation, just normal growth.

    I can name you various wild and cultivated plants that possess every one of the traits that expensive research claims for royal jelly.

  • Arguing that we should not consume RJ because it is meant for the bees (or specifically queen) can be extended to the honey itself. By that line of reasoning, we shouldn’t have any of it. Termites eat wood, dung beetles eat dung, bees PRODUCE honey and RJ as a by product, and not as waste, thus there is a difference.

  • Rusty, I think you’re right, and thanks for the laugh. My telephone is not allowing me punctuation so apologies and praise be to the bees.

    a rae

  • @ honey bee

    Your references seem a little outdated, so I presume that in the meantime some of the mentioned findings have been disproved and/or the study classified as being not sound enough.

    Are you aware of some more recent and meaningful studies that support those claims?

    Thank you very much!

  • Many people are crazy and will wrap themselves up in any seemingly EASY and ~magical~ solutions they can find.

    Getting up, moving around, taking a multivitamin, and eating your veggies is sooooo much harder than taking a ~magical~ royal jelly pill and wearing a pyramid hat to stave off the scary thing of the week.