Where Does Royal Jelly Come From?
Royal jelly is food for the queen larvae. Its wonderful properties are witnessed, when a larva that might have evolved into a worker bee-also known as the unfertile female, eventually evolves into a mature sexual female–queen bee, due to the royal jelly. Royal jelly is excreted by a 6 to 14 days old nurse bees. The necessary raw material is honey and pollen. The nurse bees have special glands that produce the jelly.
How Is Royal Jelly Made?
Royal jelly is made by removing a milky mass from open balm that is four to five days old. Continued removal is not recommended since you acquire a smaller amount of royal jelly that is also of poor quality. This should be done at the time when the development of a bee’s colony is complete, with enough pollen and honey.
Beekeepers artificially force the bee colonies to fill the hives-feeding the larvae in order to get large amounts of the jelly. This process however poses a lot of risk and requires plenty of effort.
Royal jelly is harvested by human beings by stimulating colonies using a movable frame to manufacture queen bees. It is then collected from each distinct queen cell (honeycomb) during the time when the queen larvae are around four days old.
The queen cells are the only cells where large amounts of royal jelly are deposited; when they are fed to worker larvae, the royal jelly is directly fed to these cells. The queen larvae cells are stocked with the royal jelly at a much faster rate than it can be consumed by the larvae. Therefore, the harvest of the royal jelly is only possible in the queen cells.
Royal jelly is removed using a plastic shovel or wooden spoon in a clean room that has no day light in the shortest period of time. You however need to remove the larvae first. It is best if you use a vacuum pump to remove the jelly.
A well-managed hive can produce close to 500 grams of royal jelly during a season of about 5 to 6 months. Those who handle royal jelly should be able to immediately access proper cold storage like a household freezer or refrigerator since the product is perishable. This is where the royal jelly will be stored until it is transported to a collection center or sold. Sometimes you can add beeswax or honey to the royal jelly to aid in its preservation.
Texture And Appearance
Royal jelly looks adhesive and is sticky. It is usually white and sometimes comes with a slightly gray cast. It is the same as condensed milk, with a sourish-bitter taste. Simply put, it is produced by adding hardly hatched larvae that is grafted into waxen queen cups that are specially prepared to a bee colony that doesn`t have a queen. Since the bees desire to bring up a new queen, they quickly begin feeding larvae with the royal jelly. At that time, the larvae are practically swimming in royal jelly. After a period of about 72 hours the added cups are removed, the larvae taken out, leaving you with the royal jelly.