Question:

Is Royal Jelly kosher? It’s from bees like honey.

Answer:

Unlike honey, royal jelly is a glandular secretion and its color is a whitish yellow. Its consistency is creamier and less viscous than honey. Its taste is bitter, although not offensively so. Worker bees produce royal jelly as the initial food for developing larvae, and as the unique diet of the queen-bee-designate. All the other post-larval bees in the hive subsist on the stored honey, and are not fed the royal jelly.

Some have argued that royal jelly should be permitted because it is honey-like, and presumably included in the Scriptural exception as well. But this argument is difficult to support, based on the two reasons cited by the Gemara above. First of all, royal jelly is a glandular secretion, and therefore subject to the general rule of that which comes from an impure (being) is also impure. Also, since it differs in appearance, taste, and function from honey, it should not be included in the Scriptural exception granted to bees’ honey since royal jelly can be considered a totally different food than honey.

Others have contended that royal jelly is not considered fit for human consumption as it is “very bitter” and therefore not subject to any prohibition. This contention, however, is erroneous, for while royal jelly is indeed somewhat tart and bitter, it is by no means inedible even in its pure raw state. This was confirmed by a non Jewish tester.

Therefore people should be aware that royal jelly is not kosher, and it cannot be regarded in the same light as honey.

Sources:

 

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