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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A nutritious substance secreted by the pharyngeal glands of worker bees that serves as food for all young larvae and as the only food for larvae that will develop into queen bees.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A substance secreted by bees to aid in the development of immature or young bees, called royal jelly because it is supplied in extra measure to those young that will become queen bees.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a secretion of the pharyngeal glands of bees that is fed to very young larvae and to bees destined to be queens


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  • "To demonstrate the relative importance of genetics and the environment, I use the example of a beehive. When a fertilized egg is laid by the queen bee in an ordinary alveolus and the larva is fed with standard food, a small, sterile female, a worker bee, is born. But when an egg with a similar genetic code is laid in a larger alveolus and the larva is fed a special food--the royal jelly--the resulting insect is a queen bee, a larger, fertile female."--Prof. Miguel Mota, Oeiras, Portugal

    June 19, 2015