bees in the hive entrance two bees in the hive entrance bee collected pollen Yael and Tal do a homing experiment

Lab Members

Prof. Sharoni Shafir

Sharoni has been the director of the B. Triwaks Bee Research Center since 1998. He advocates a multidisciplinary approach to promoting bee health and bee pollination services. He is especially interested in bee nutrition and bee cognition, specifically aspects of perception and decision making that relate to foraging and pollination. He has a BA and PhD from Stanford University, an MS from University of Florida, and was a postdoctoral fellow at The Ohio State University.

Haim Kalev

Lab Manager and Beekeeper

Haim has a B.Sc. in Agriculture from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has been a technician and beekeeper at the B. Triwaks Bee Research Center since 1997. Haim is very involved in education and collaboration with the international community of beekeepers. He has led many courses in subjects such as beekeeping for beginners, modern apiculture management (honey by-products and pollination), commercial beekeeping, and artificial insemination of queens. His courses take place all over the world, including Eritrea, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Uzbekistan, Rwanda, and El Salvador.

Dr. Raquel Teixeira de Sousa

Postdoctoral Fellow

Raquel has a Bsc in Applied Biology from the Universidade do Minho (Braga, Portugal) and a Msc in Toxicology and Ecotoxicology from the Universidade de Aveiro (Aveiro Portugal). It was her first beekeeping endeavors in Portugal that led her to pursue a PhD in honey bee nutrition and feeding behaviour. In 2013, she enrolled a PhD Program (GABBA, Universidade do Porto, Portugal) that paved the opportunity to engage her research in Wright’s Lab in Newcastle University (UK). Her PhD research was on behavioural regulation and feeding preferences of mineral salts in adult worker honey bees. Raquel has recently started her first post-doc position (2018) to follow up her previous research in a joint collaboration between Wright’s Lab and Shafir’s Lab in the HUJI (Rehovot, Israel).

Dr. Sofia Bouchebti

Postdoctoral Fellow

Sofia investigates how ratios of macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, and fatty acids) affect various measures of performance in honey bees (such as survival, learning, and memory), and whether bees are able to balance their intake of nutrients as a function of different social parameters. During her PhD in the University Paul Sabatier Toulouse III, she has studied the foraging behavior of the leaf-cutting ant Atta laevigata, both in laboratory (in France) and in the field (in Brazil).

Yael Katz

Ph.D. Student

Co-supervisor: Dr. Arnon Dag

Yael has a B.Sc. in Agriculture from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her M.Sc. research focuses on the importance of fatty acids in honey bee nutrition, especially on learning and memory. Yael uses methods such as proboscis extension response (PER).

Rui Goncalves

Research Associate

Rui has a BSc in Applied Biology from the Universidade do Minho (Braga, Portugal) and a Joint European MSc in Environmental Studies (JEMES) between Portugal, Spain, Denmark and Germany. His MSc research focused on the development of a low-cost MFC (micro fuel cell) reactor using exoelectrogenic bacteria in the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain) between 2009-2011. Soon after in Northern Portugal, he was introduced to beekeeping, co-founded a beekeeping association and a beekeeping company and ever since, Rui has been a devoted beekeeper without borders. In 2016, Rui conducted a market research in bee nutrition and beekeeping practices across the globe as an ICURE fellow. He joined Shafir’s Lab in Rehovot as part of a joint collaboration with the Wright’s lab (Newcastle University – UK) to improve bee nutrition.

Ira Treidel

Research Associate

Ira is a passionate beekeeper, right-hand man of Haim. He has a B.Sc. in Agriculture from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and he joined the laboratory four years ago. In addition to his beekeeping work, he is involved in many different research experiments.

Meray Kadee

Undergraduate student working in the lab.

Meray is an undergraduate student at the Hebrew university of Jerusalem in the agroecology & plant sciences program. He started working at the lab as a research assistant in early 2017.

Lab Alumni

Dr. Harmen P. Hendriksma

Former Postdoctoral Fellow

Harmen is a devoted beekeeper and researcher. He studied ecosystem biology at the University of Wageningen, in Holand. Thereafter, he was a professional beekeeper for 4 years until he started his PhD in Bayreuth and Wuerzburg in Germany. His PhD research was on honey bee risk assessment with transgenic maize. Harmen was a postdoc in the B. Triwaks Bee Research Center from 2012 – 2015, working on the nutritional balancing done by honey bees.

Tal Erez

Co-supervisor: Dr. Oz Barazani

MS Thesis: The role of flower morph in Eruca sativa (Brassicaceae) populations in attracting honey bees (Apis mellifera)

Yael Garbian

Co-supervisor: Prof. Ilan Sela

PhD Thesis: Horizontal Transfer of RNA sequences between honey bee, Varroa destructor, and IAPV.

Tania Masci

Former Laboratory Technician

Reut Nyska

Co-supervisor: Dr. Doron Schneider

Thesis: The gametophytic self-incompatibility system in loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) and the foraging behavior of honey bees

Karmi Oxman

Co-supervisor: Prof. Ofer Feinerman

MS Thesis: Reliability and the waggle dance: Honest honey bees dance more and attract more followers than dishonest bees

  • Karmi's illustrations and CV
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    Amir Raz

    Co-supervisor: Prof. Martin Goldway and Dr. Raffi Stern

    Thesis: Pollination in apricots (Prunus armeniaca): honey bee foraging behavior and genetic aspects of the fertilisation mechanism

    Shlomi Zarchin

    Co-supervisor: Dr. Arnon Dag

    Shlomi's M.Sc. thesis was on the ability of honey bee (Apis mellifera) foragers to discriminate between pollens according to their fatty acid composition

    Nadav Ezra

    Nadav's M.Sc. thesis tested the subjective evaluation by honey bees of nectar secondary compounds and their fitness consequences. Specifically, he tested the effect on colony fitness of various components of avocado nectar, which is known to be unattractive to bees. In addition, he assessed the subjective evaluation of honey bees of caffeine in nectar, through analyses of their round dances.

    Dr. Dorit Avni

    Co-supervisor: Dr. Arnon Dag

    PhD Thesis: The effect of pollen protein content and fatty acid composition on honey bee (Apis mellifera) nutrition

    Dr. Gal Sapir

    Co-supervisor: Prof. Martin Goldway

    PhD Thesis: Gametophytic self incompatibility in Japanese plum (Prunus salicina) – Investigation of the system and its horticultural impact

    Anat Haya Zisovich

    M.Sc. Thesis: Study of pollination and fertilization factors influencing yield in the Israeli pear orchard

    Dr. Mor Salomon-Botner

    Former Postdoctoral Fellow:

    Honey bee discrimination between omega-3 and omega-6 volatiles of fatty acids

    Dr. Roy Kaspi

    Former Postdoctoral Fellow:

    Associative olfactory learning of the red dwarf honey bee, Apis florea

    Nitzan Paldi

    M.Sc. Thesis: Using “scent genes” to enhance honey bee-assisted cross-pollination between cross-fertilizing cultivars, to produce hybrid seed

    Alon Bilu

    M.Sc. Thesis: Use of honey bees to disseminate Trichodex (Trichoderma harziatum T39) to strawberry for the control of gray mold (Botrytis cinerea)

    Yeshurun Plesser

    M.Sc. Thesis: Factors that affect the attraction of bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) to the cotton plant (Gossypium spp.)

    Lia Vaknin-Yehonatan

    M.Sc. Thesis: Comparative evaluations of reward dimensions in honey bees: evidence from two-alternative forced choice proboscis-extension conditioning

    Sharon Golan

    M.Sc. Thesis: Risk-sensitivity in delay to reward in the honey bee (Apis mellifera)

    Tamar Drezner-Levi

    M.Sc. Thesis: Evaluation of reward distribution by honey bee (Apis mellifera) foragers collecting nectar, pollen and water

    Gil Menda

    M.Sc. Thesis: An experimental study of choice behavior of honey bees in response to variability in reward magnitude using a proboscis extension response (PER) paradigm.

    Dr. Ohad Afik

    M.Sc. Thesis: The effect of ambient temperature on the crop loading behavior of honey bees (Apis mellifera)

    PhD Thesis: Factors influcencing the attraction of honey bees (Apis mellifera) to avocado (Persea americana) flowers

    Dr. Arnon Dag

    Former Postdoctoral Fellow:

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) strains differ in avocado (Persea americana) nectar foraging preferences

    Daniel Menchem

    Former undergraduate student working in the lab.

    Dan Eliahu

    Former undergraduate student working in the lab.

    Dror Friedman

    Former undergraduate student working in the lab.