Spoiler warning! This is a simple story and concerns the Taylor family: Albert, Mabel, and their newborn baby daughter. After she goes to bed, Albert begins to read from one of his many books on beekeeping. This particular night he is reading about royal jelly, which is a substance that the worker bees produce and feed to the larvae for the first three days of their lives.

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I have always thought this story is an unsettling mix between fact and fiction. Is the crazy beekeeper Albert Taylor for real? Is he serious about feeding his malnourished daughter tons and tons of royal jelly to make her nice and plump? Eccentric character Albert Tayler refers to beekeeping magazines and scientific research discussing the great benefits of the magical royal substance. For a long time I have wondered whether these scientific articles were real, or whether the amazing imagination of Roald Dahl had exceeded to the next level.

Today, I want to find out. On the other hand, the larvae which are destined to become queens are fed throughout the whole of their larval period on a concentrated diet of pure royal jelly.

Hence the name. That sounds all pretty true to me. And then some concrete names fly over the pages. Real scientists or not? I put the names through the google filter and I found interesting results: Roald Dahl has ever so slightly changed their names. They are fictional characters, yet based on real scientists. Frederick A. Banting is in fact Frederick G. Banting, and Still and Burdett are actually Hill and Burdett. Also, even though it was true that many of these scientist experimented with royal jelly on rats; it is not clear that they discovered exactly the stuff Dahl writes about.

The most impressive story he puts forward about the fertility powers of royal jelly is that a ninety-year old guy sired a healthy boy after taking minute doses of royal jelly in capsule form. And this is one remarkable answer I found: According to research conducted by R.

Krell at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, royal jelly will help underfed children to gain in weight, more hemoglobin and red blood cells.


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