For a very long time we have accepted that a queen bee is created because the female egg selected for her development is cocooned in a larger cell jammed full of Royal Jelly. A simple diet of white goo containing all the proteins, minerals and amino acids that allow her ovaries (and body) to develop in preparation for reproduction.
Well, evidence is emerging that this is not strictly true. This article is very interesting. It strongly suggests that it is not the Royal Jelly that creates the queen, more like the absence of bee bread (pollen and honey/nectar) fed to larvae that allow her to develop into a queen. Indeed, queens have been raised in a lab in Australia without the use of Royal Jelly.
Have a read of this article; I found it incredibly interesting.
Thanks to wired.com