We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is the Difference Between Bee Pollen and Royal Jelly?

By Vanessa Harvey
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The difference between bee pollen and royal jelly lies in the definition of what each substance is. Bee pollen is the natural pollen of various flowers that is gathered by bees as they feed on nectar. Pollen gets stuck to the legs and other body parts of the bee. Royal jelly, on the other hand, is a fluid made in the pharyngeal glands of bees and secreted by these glands. It is composed of water, nectar, honey, saliva, vitamins and hormones.

Bee pollen and royal jelly are both found in the hives of bees, but just as they are different in composition, they also are used for different purposes by the bees. Royal jelly is a food that is prepared for the nourishment of larvae for the first few days of their life and is food for the queen for all of her life. Amazing claims have been made about the nutritional value and health claims of both of these substances, many of which are the same for both substances.

It is often reported that bee pollen provides the highest amount of certain nutrients — such as vitamins, minerals, hormones, amino acids, fats and enzymes — compared to other foods or nutritional supplements. Bee pollen and royal jelly are said to be rich in nutritional value and perfect in the proportions of those nutrients. The fact that the queen bee grows to a larger size, is more fertile and lives longer than all of the other bees of the hive also has encouraged the belief that bee products are miraculous cures for numerous health problems. They also are believed to increase a person's physical and mental stamina — a claim that has sparked interest particularly among athletes.

Believers in the nutritional value of bee pollen and royal jelly for use in alternative medicine have claimed that these all-natural substances can eliminate deficiencies in any vitamin or mineral. They believe that these bee products have rejuvenating power and that they slow the aging process, strengthen the immune system, are natural antibiotics and are a general cure-all. Nutritionists, research scientists and skeptics, however, remind the public that the nutrients contained in bee pollen and royal jelly are abundantly found in perfect proportions in organically cultivated foods. Emphasis also is placed on the fact that even the most perfect food for a bee is not necessarily a perfect food for another form of life.

People do not have the same nutritional needs as bees. There also is the concern for possible allergic reactions, which can be very severe in some individuals who take bee products. Individuals who are allergic to pollen in general should consult their doctor before taking bee products.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By SteamLouis — On Jan 19, 2014

If anyone is planning to use a supplement for fertility, royal jelly is the one for you. Bee pollen is best for vitamin deficiencies. Royal jelly has many health benefits like improving fertility, especially in women. My sister got pregnant thanks to royal jelly.

By burcidi — On Jan 19, 2014

@ddljohn-- Propolis is a type of resin that bees collect and use in the beehive. Some manufacturers add this to their bee pollen and royal jelly supplements to make the supplement more beneficial. These are usually combined in a base of honey to preserve their benefits.

I personally take an organic royal jelly and bee pollen supplement without propolis. I'm sure propolis is beneficial too, but I'm satisfied with my current supplement. It gives me a lot of energy and my immunity has improved as well. I have chronic allergies when I don't take bee pollen and royal jelly.

It's up to you to decide what type of supplement you will use. I think that most beehive products contain much of the same minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Even though bee pollen and royal jelly are different things, I'm sure you will experience benefits regardless of which one you use. Just make sure that the manufacturer is well known and trustworthy.

By ddljohn — On Jan 18, 2014

I understand the difference between bee pollen and royal jelly. But what is propolis? I see supplements containing all three of these. Should I buy an only royal jelly supplement or should I buy royal jelly with bee pollen and propolis?

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.