February 26, 2020
Royal jelly (RJ) is a yellowish-white and acidic cream secreted from the glands of young worker bees. It is used to feed young worker larvae during the first three days and the entire life of queen bees. RJ is one of the most appreciated and valued naturalproduct which has been widely used in traditional medicines, health foods, and cosmetics. The proteins in RJ are vital in bee biology and health-promoting activities, thus, we have conducted in-depth investigations into the RJ proteome. In China, the highroyal jelly producing bees have been selected from Italian bees (ITBs, A. mellifera ligustica) since the 1980s to improve RJ production. Now, these royal jelly bees (RJBs) can produce 10 times more RJ than the ITBs, making China the largest RJ producer inthe world. The biological causes of increased RJ production, a quantitative social trait, are complex. I will discuss my studies of the proximate mechanisms of RJBs at different levels of biological organization, ranging from behavioral experiments to neuroproteomics.