Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Neurohormonal Properties of Royal Jelly


ROYAL jelly has significance in polymorphic development of bees. Bee larvæ fed on an overabundance of royal jelly develop into queens ; those given food differing quantitatively and qualitatively become worker bees1. Royal jelly has other interesting properties, for evidence is available of its therapeutic value in transplantable mouse leukæmia2 and of the presence of an antibiotic3. These effects might be termed anti-growth properties. It is remarkable that royal jelly is stated to contain acetylcholine4 in an amount calculated to be about six times that found in the brain of insects5. Nothing is known about the origin of acetylcholine in royal jelly or indeed whether this substance, obtainable from bees other than those used by Henschler4, contains acetylcholine. The occurrence of a neurohormone in royal jelly is of considerable interest for it suggests that acetylcholine may have a function different from that associated with nervous transmission.

Your institute does not have access to this article

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. Ribbands, R., “The Behaviour and Social Life of Honey Bees” (Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1953).

    Google Scholar 

  2. Townsend, G. F., Morgan, J. F., and Hazlett, B., Nature, 183, 1270 (1959).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Blum, M. S., Novak, A. F., and Taber, S., Science, 130, 452 (1959).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Henschler, D., Hoppe-Seylers Z. physiol. Chemie, 305, 34 (1956).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Colhoun, E. H., J. Ins. Physiol., 2, 108 (1958).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Smallman, B. N., J. Physiol., 132, 343 (1956).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Goldschmidt, S., and Burkert, H., Hoppe-Seylers Z. physiol. Chemie, 301, 78 (1955).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

COLHOUN, E., SMITH, M. Neurohormonal Properties of Royal Jelly. Nature 188, 854–855 (1960).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing