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"During our investigations into the compositional profiles of floral nectar and pollen, the dominant presence of Proline was well established in the botany literature, and its biological significance to the honeybee had been thoroughly investigated and published in the world of entomology.” 

Among the amino acids found in nectar & pollen, Proline is unique because Honey Bees have the ability to taste this unique amino acid. It not only contributes to a taste preferred by Honey Bees, but it stimulates their salt cell, a chemosensory receptor, resulting in increase feeding behavior (phagostimulant).

What does the body of entomology literature say about the biological significance of Proline to the honeybee?

  • Proline supports hypopharyngeal gland development.

  • Proline supports honeybee cold hardiness by being utilized as an antifreeze protein to lower their supercooling point.

  • This amino acid plays a supportive role in the honeybee immune defense mechanisms, both humoral (production of antimicrobial peptides – amp’s), and cell mediated immunity.

  • Proline supports increases in larvae survival rates.

  • Proline shortens the duration of brood development.

Inositol (Vitamin B8)

Inositol is one of the most abundant vitamins in floral pollen. Inositol was first identified to be important for the normal growth and development of the honeybee in the 1960's. 

Inositol (Vitamin B8)

Trace Mineral

For all known biological life, trace minerals function as the catalysts (initiators) within enzymatic pathways. It is understood, that the honeybee actively seeks minerals through its foraging activities to meet the colony-level requirements of these elements. What is less well known to the beekeeping community, is the homeostatic regulation of trace & mineral-element concentrations by the nurse bee endocrine system, tightly regulating the final trace & mineral-element composition of royal jelly.

There are two primary factors representing challenges to ensuring honeybees are acquiring a full spectrum of required trace & mineral elements.

  1. Geographical variation in the presence and concentration of trace & mineral elements.

  2. Monocrop agricultural settings and the associated forage diversity limitations. 


Citation: “Trace and mineral elements in royal jelly and homeostatic effects” by Andreas Stocker, Peter Schramel, Antonius Kettrup, Eberhard Bengsch

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