Royal jelly is a honey bee secretion that is used in the nutrition of larvae, as well as adult queens. It is secreted from the glands in the hypopharynx of nurse bees, and fed to all larvae in the colony, regardless of sex or caste.
When worker bees decide to make a new queen, usually because the old one is either weakening or dead, they choose several small larvae and feed them with copious amounts of royal jelly in specially constructed queen cells. This type of feeding triggers the development of queen morphology, including the fully developed ovaries needed to lay eggs.
Royal jelly is widely marketed as a dietary supplement. It is an alternative medicine that falls under the category of apitherapy. Both the European Food Safety Authority and United States Food and Drug Administration have concluded that the current evidence does not support the claim of health benefits, and have actively discouraged the sale and consumption of the jelly. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has taken legal action against companies that have used unfounded claims of health benefits to market royal jelly products. There have also been documented cases of allergic reactions, namely hives, asthma, and anaphylaxis, due to consumption of royal jelly.
“Royal jelly,” accessed July 6, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_jelly