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Prof. Sharoni Shafir Media Gallery

Contact Us

The Department of Entomology
The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Herzl 229, Rehovot 7610001, ISRAEL

Tel: 08-9489223 
Fax: 08-9366768

Lab Members

 Current 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. Danny Minahan

Postdoctoral Fellow (Zuckerman Postdoctoral Scholar)

Danny has a BA from the University of Colorado (2012), and a PhD in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2019). His PhD research took a comparative approach to test predictions of temporal foraging and resource collection patterns by honey bees and bumble bees based on their known foraging strategies, notably dance communication and trapline foraging, respectively. As a Postdoctoral Scholar at the B. Triwaks Bee Research Center, Danny is seeking to understand how nutrient ratios, in particular high vs low omega 6:3 ratio affects the ontogeny of foraging in honey bees, and their spatial cognitive capabilities.


Meray Kadee

MS student

Co-supervisor: Dr. Oz Barazani

Meray was 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. In 2019 he began his MS studies on honey bee pollination of Eruca sativa.



Chagit Kanot

MS student

Co-supervisor: Dr. Arnon Dag


moran levanon

Moran Levanon

DVM student

Moran is an advanced veterinary medicine student, conducting a research project on the effect of honey bee nutrition on worker and royal jelly composition.


maya goren

Maya Goren

DVM student

Maya is an advanced veterinary medicine student, conducting research on the effect of honey bee workers nutrition on their tending behavior of queen and worker larvae.


Jérémie Heraief

Undergraduate student research assistant


Lab Alumni


Yael  Arien

Ph.D. Student

Co-supervisor: Dr. Arnon Dag

Yael has a B.Sc. in Agriculture from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and continued for a direct PhD program. She studies the importance of essential fatty acids in honey bee nutrition for their development, survival, and learning and memory. Yael uses methods such as proboscis extension response (PER) conditioning and electroantennogram (EAG) recordings.


Shiran Wasker

Undergraduate student research assistant

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).

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.

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)

Dr. 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


Dr. Amir Raz

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

PhD 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

Dr. 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.