Director, B. Triwaks Bee Research Center
Ph.D. 1995, Stanford University
Associate Professor

Research Areas

  • Animal Cognition
  • Behavioral Ecology
  • Pollination Ecology


  • Entomology Lab
  • Honey Bee Biology
  • Behavioral Ecology of Pollination

Research Interests:

Decision-making processes in honey bees

Cognitive ecology of pollination

Crop pollination


Animal Behaviour

Selected Publications:

Shafir, S. 1994. Intransitivity of preferences in honey bees -- support for comparative evaluation of foraging options. Animal Behaviour 48: 55 -- 67.

Shafir, S. 2000. Risk-sensitive foraging: the effect of relative variability. Oikos. 89: 663-669.

Shafir, S., T.A. Waite, and B.H. Smith. 2002. Context-dependent violations of rational choice in honeybees (Apis mellifera) and gray jays. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 51: 180-187.

Dag , A., A.E. Fetscher , O. Afik , Y. Yeselson , A.A. Schaffer , Y. Kamer , N.M. Waser , M.A. Madore , M.L. Arpaia , R. Hofshi , and S. Shafir . 2003. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) strains differ in avocado (Persea americana) nectar foraging preferences. Apidologie 34: 299-309.

Shafir, S., A. Bechar , and E. U. Weber . 2003. Cognition-mediated coevolution – context-dependent evaluations and sensitivity of pollinators to variability in nectar rewards. Plant Systematics and Evolution 238: 195-209.

Weber, E. U., S. Shafir , and A.R. Blais . 2004. Predicting risk‑sensitivity in humans and lower animals: risk as variance or coefficient of variation. Psychological Review 111: 430-445.

Shafir, S., G. Menda and B.H. Smith . 2005. Caste-specific differences in risk-sensitivity in honey bees (Apis mellifera). Animal Behaviour 69: 859-868.

Afik, O., A. Dag, Z. Kerem, and S. Shafir. 2006. Analyses of avocado (Persea americana) nectar properties and their perception by honey bees (Apis mellifera). Journal of Chemical Ecology. 32: 1949-1963.

Drezner-Levy, T. and S. Shafir. 2007. Parameters of variable reward distributions that affect risk sensitivity of honey bees. Journal of Experimental Biology. 210: 269-277.

Stern, R.A., G. Sapir, S. Shafir, A. Dag, and M. Goldway. 2007. The appropriate management of honey bee colonies for pollination of Rosaceae fruit trees in warm climates. Middle Eastern and Russian Journal of Plant Science and Biotechnology. 1: 13-19.

Afik, O., A. Dag, and S. Shafir. 2008. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) round dance is influenced by trace elements composition of floral nectar. Animal Behaviour. 75: 371-377.

Shafir S., T. Reich, E. Tsur, I. Erev and A. Lotem. 2008. Perceptual accuracy and conflicting effects of certainty on risk-taking behaviour. Nature 453: 917-920.

Maori, E., N. Paldi, S. Shafir, H. Kalev, E. Tsur, E. Glick, I. Sela. In press. IAPV, a bee-affecting virus associated with colony collapse disorder can be silenced by dsRNA ingestion. Insect Molecular Biology 18: 55-60.

Drezner-Levy, T., B. H. Smith and S. Shafir. 2009. The effect of foraging specialization on various learning tasks in the honey bee (Apis mellifera). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 64: 135-148

Shafir, S., L. Kabanoff, M. Duncan and B. P. Oldroyd. 2009. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) sperm competition in vitro – two are no less viable than one. Apidologie 40: 556-561.

Avni, D., A. Dag and S. Shafir. 2009. Pollen sources for honey bees in Israel: Source, periods of shortage and influence on population growth. Israel Journal of Plant Sciences 57: 263-275.

Shafir, S., & A.B. Barron. 2010. Optic flow informs distance but not profitability for honeybees. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B 277: 1241-1245.

Afik, O., A. Dag, Y. Yeselson, A. Schaffer & S. Shafir. 2010. Selection and breeding of honey bees for higher or lower collection of Avocado nectar. Journal of Economic Entomology 103: 228-233.