Lump of royal jelly

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% Lump of royal jelly.png
Name lump of royal jelly
Base price 15 zm
Nutrition 200
Turns to eat 1
Weight 2
Conduct vegetarian

A lump of royal jelly (sometimes simply royal jelly) is a type of veggy comestible that appears in NetHack.


Lumps of royal jelly are not randomly generated.

Royal jelly is primarily found within beehives, where each killer bee in the hive (including the queen bee) has a 13 chance of royal jelly being generated underneath them at level creation.[1] Royal jelly is also sold in health food shops.[2]

Applying a horn of plenty may produce a lump of royal jelly with a 120 overall chance.


Eating a non-cursed lump of royal jelly grants 200 nutrition and has several other effects: it heals wounded legs and increases your strength by one point (unless it is already at its maximum), along with possibly restoring up to 20 HP;[3] if this would raise your base form's HP above its maximum, there is an additional 116 chance of increasing your maximum HP by 1. A cursed lump of royal jelly will instead lower strength by one point and may decrease your HP by up to 20.

Lumps of royal jelly are vegetarian, and can be used to tame carnivorous domestic animals.

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

Per commit fe66443: Applying royal jelly to objects will smear it on them; as of commit d44c83d, the only applicable objects are monster eggs. Cursed royal jelly will kill an egg, while uncursed royal jelly will rejuvenate it; blessed royal jelly will additionally make the egg recognize you as its parent if it hatches in your inventory. Using royal jelly of any beatitude on a killer bee egg will turn it into a queen bee egg.

As of commit 4159dd9, killer bees will eat royal jelly and become queen bees if a queen bee is not present on the level; tame killer bees will seek out nearby lumps of royal jelly, while hostile killer bees will eat any royal that they move across when pursuing you. As of commit 5e26589, players polymorphed into killer bees can also become queen bees by eating royal jelly.


Royal jelly has a very good nutrition-to-weight ratio and can be eaten in one turn, making it a popular food item to store for the late game and ascension run.


The lump of royal jelly first appears in Hack 1.0.2 alongside the beehive.

Starting in NetHack 3.6.0, "royal jelly" is recognized as an alias for the item for wishing purposes, per commit dfd9586.


Royal jelly is a honey bee secretion that is secreted from the glands in the hypopharynx of nurse bees and fed to all larvae in the colony. During the process of creating new queens, the workers construct special "queen cells", and the larvae in these cells are fed with copious amounts of royal jelly - this jelly contains various proteins secreted by the honey bees, and triggers the development of queen morphology, including the fully developed ovaries needed to lay eggs.

Royal jelly is sometimes used in alternative medicine, and is often sold as a dietary supplement for humans - though this is reflected by its uses in NetHack, in real life the European Food Safety Authority has concluded that there is not enough evidence to support the claim, and the United States' Food and Drug Administration has taken legal action against companies that have marketed royal jelly products using unfounded claims of health benefits. Also unlike NetHack, the Vegetarian Society considers royal jelly non-vegetarian.


TNNT (the game)

In TNNT (the game), lumps of royal jelly are among one of the few acceptable food items for the swap chest.


In EvilHack, honey badgers will dig their way towards any beehives on the level in order to try and eat the royal jelly present.

Encyclopedia entry

"'Royal Jelly,'" he read aloud, "'must be a substance of
tremendous nourishing power, for on this diet alone, the
honey-bee larva increases in weight fifteen hundred times in
five days!'"

"How much?"

"Fifteen hundred times, Mabel. And you know what that means
if you put it in terms of a human being? It means," he said,
lowering his voice, leaning forward, fixing her with those
small pale eyes, "it means that in five days a baby weighing
seven and a half pounds to start off with would increase in
weight to five tons!"

[ Royal Jelly, by Roald Dahl ]