Royal jelly production - a heartless business

Apitherapy is the medical and cosmetic use of honey bee products, such as royal jelly, but what does it take to make these health and beauty products?

Royal jelly is made by first destroying or segregating the queen in a hive. At the same time young bee eggs are taken from the hive and inserted via a needle into multiple rows of artificial queen cells, which have been smeared with starter royal jelly or honey to help adhere the eggs to the cell walls.

As many as 40+ of these artificial queen cells are then inserted back into the agitated, queen-less hive, and the bees start to raise replacement emergency queens. As part of this process hundreds of nurse bees produce royal jelly from mandibular glands in their heads, and cover each larva in a thick layer.

After 36 hours the queen cells are removed, the young queens picked out and thrown away, and the royal jelly bottled. In a repeated production line process a bee farmer can force a hive to produce 500g of royal jelly per hive a year. Often the weakened hive normally becomes unsustainable.

Who thinks of the welfare and stress of bees when they are producing or buying royal jelly products, not to mention propolis and bee pollen? So much of what is wrong with humankind is due to habitulization; actions are taken without thinking.

In obtaining royal jelly, bees are placed under repeated survival stress. We do not need these supplements, face creams or specialty honey made with added royal jelly. In a world that supports such heartless business, is it any wonder the bees are dying.

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