About the Natural Beekeeping Method
|Production of the world’s highest quality royal jelly is only possible with the Kikuji Yamaguchi Method of Natural Beekeeping, an innovative method of keeping honeybees in a truly natural environment and under the best possible conditions.|
|(1) Never Overwork the Bees: Beekeeping that respects the ecology and physiology of honeybees
Every year, about 2,500 tons of royal jelly is produced in China from about 5.6 million bee colonies. What these numbers indicate is mass production of royal jelly, achieved only by overworking the bees and ignoring their ecological and physiological needs.
If produced under ecologically and physiologically sound conditions, no more than 1,000 tons of royal jelly can be produced. To be ecologically and physiologically responsible, the Kikuji Yamaguchi Method of Natural Beekeeping allows only 600 to 800 tons of royal jelly production.
|(2) Install Water Trays by the Sides of the Beehives
To satisfy their large daily requirements for water, honeybees typically fly four to five kilometers to get water. This is very energy-consuming for the small insects.
In bee farms based on the Kikuji Yamaguchi Method of Natural Beekeeping, stainless water trays are put out near the beehives, so that bees can get water without using a lot of energy.
|(3) Limit the Number of Artificial Queen Cells to 100 or Less
While 200 or more is the typical number of artificial queen cells in industrial apiculture, only up to 100 artificial queen cells are allowed with the Kikuji Yamaguchi Method of Natural Beekeeping. A large number of artificial queen cells means that the royal jelly produced is lower in nutritional value and beneficial activity levels. If too much royal jelly is generated by worker bees, their life expectancy is shortened to 15 to 20 days, leading to a decline in the conditions within the colony.
|(4) Maintain a 25% Honeybee Rotation Rate for Royal Jelly Production
Natural pollen and honey, together with healthy worker bees, are essential for the production of high quality royal jelly.
With the Kikuji Yamaguchi Method of Natural Beekeeping, the health of the worker bees is guaranteed by limiting the number of artificial queen cells per colony. To maintain the health of all the colonies, beehives are rotated to keep the percentage of colonies employed for jelly production at 25%. (Only 25 colonies out of 100, for example, are used for production.) This management scheme clearly limits the volume of jelly production, but is necessary to ensure healthy colonies for the production of high quality royal jelly.
|(5) Graft Two-day-old Larvae into Queen Cells and Harvest the Product Only when the Apisin Level in the Protein is at its Maximum.
Queen bees lay eggs both in the day and night. The eggs may be laid either in the early morning, early afternoon or in the period between early evening to midnight, depending on the conditions. The grafting of larvae into queen cells, on the other hand, is performed only at a time when the afternoon sun is at its peak. Grafting work requires skill and experience to identify very young larvae that are two days old or younger.
The larvae raised in rearing cells to be future worker bees are fed very small amounts of royal jelly from adult bees for the first three days after hatching. Then they are fed a mixed diet of soft honey and pollen until they leave the cell 21 days later as adult bees. Thus, if larvae that are more than 3.5 days old are grafted into queen cells, the royal jelly will be contaminated with the feces that the larvae excrete from the mixed feed. This is why the Kikuji Yamaguchi Method of Natural Beekeeping strictly maintains the basic principle of using only very young larvae for grafting, limited to larvae that are two days old or younger.
|(6) Filter the Product in the Fields
All protein rich products, whether fish or meat, or even beans, are highly perishable. Royal jelly, with protein as its main ingredient, is no exception.
To keep the royal jelly as fresh as possible, special care is needed from the very time it is harvested from the queen cells. Tiny fragments of combs and dust can be captured during harvesting, and they must be filtered out immediately after the harvest. And the jelly needs to be kept at 2°C. The best way to maintain product quality during this period is get the keeper to do the filtering in the field.
|(7) Install a Generator in the Field and Refrigerate the Jelly at 2°C Immediately after Harvesting
In conventional bee production in China, the beekeepers bring raw royal jelly into a processing site without temperature control. Then the raw jelly is stored in freezers until it is thawed and filtered with a large cloth by the processors in a rather primitive way. The filtered jelly is mixed in a mixer with a diameter of one meter or larger and packed into one-kilogram or five-kilogram packages. The packed products are stored again in a freezer.
These processes ruin the freshness and activity levels of the royal jelly, which has protein as its main component. In the Kikuji Yamaguchi Method of Natural Beekeeping, three types of filtering system (electric, manual and simplified) are provided at no cost to the contracted beekeepers to ensure immediate filtering in the bee fields. The filtered raw jelly is stored in lightproof containers for sanitary storage at 2°C. Then the final products are packaged and stored at -60°C until shipped for export.
|Thus, ecologically and physiologically responsible beekeeping and strict quality control are essential ingredients of the Kikuji Yamaguchi Method of Natural Beekeeping, ensuring the production of high quality royal jelly.|