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The Answer is Royal Jelly

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The Answer is Royal Jelly

Biologists interested in nutrition point to the queen as an example of how diet can make an incredible difference in the development of an animal. The only difference between a queen bee and a worker bee is that the queen eats Royal Jelly for the whole duration of her life, while the worker bees eat Royal Jelly for only the first three days of its larval stage.

The Royal Jelly diet accounts for some rather remarkable differences in the physiology and behavior of the queen. The queen bee is different from a normal worker bee in many ways. The queen lives forty times longer than a worker bee, up to five or six years, and grows to be 40% larger. She can lay thousands of eggs every day. The queen has no wax glands, which the workers use to form the comb cells of the hive, and she has no pollen baskets on her legs. Her stinger is shaped differently, and while she has glands in her head (pharyngeal) region, they secrete much different substances than the workers. Worker bees are not sexually active, but the queen, as pointed out before, needs to be quite prolific to keep the hive populated. Royal Jelly is produced by the nurse bees. Nurse bees are special worker bees that attend the queen and the babies, or larvae, of the hive. Would you like to meet the Nurse Bee?