All bee larvae are fed royal jelly for the first few days of their life. Royal jelly is a mixture of digested pollen and honey and a chemical produced by glands in the head of worker bees. Royal jelly is rich in certain essential nutrients and hormones that promote growth and increase fertility. After these first few days, most bee larvae are weaned off of royal jelly and are fed pollen and honey instead. Queen bee larvae, however, continue to be fed royal jelly until they are fully grown. This highly nutritious diet accounts for the difference in size between queen bees and the rest of the hive.
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