President of Biology Commission

Prof. Geraldine Wright
University of Oxford
tel.: +44 18 65 27 11 23
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Prof Geraldine Wright is Professor of Neuroethology in the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford. Her lab specializes in research on the physiology and behaviour of honeybees. Her research program includes expertise in bee chemical senses (olfaction and gustation), the mechanisms of learning and memory, and bee nutrition. Her group has also made major contributions to what is known about the honeybee and the bumblebee’s sense of taste, including the discovery that bees have difficulty detecting neonicotinoid pesticides in nectar at field relevant concentrations. Her lab also discovered that compounds like caffeine in floral nectar influence the behaviour of foraging honeybees.

portrait sharoni shafir

Prof Sharoni Shafir is former Head of the Department of Entomology at the Hebrew University in Rehovot, Israel, and Head of the Triwaks Bee Research Center. He is a specialist in bee behaviour and pollination biology and has published many articles on the nutritional quality of pollen and nectar, the role of pollinators in fruit yield (e.g. avocados, plums, pears), and the importance of nutrients to honeybee colonies. The topics of his lab’s research include the importance of essential fatty acids in honeybee diet, how bees perform economic decision making, how bees learn and remember floral scents, and how micronutrients in nectar affect bee behaviour.

  • Mission

The mission of the Standing Commission on Bee Biology is to give attention to the current state of research on bee biology.

  • Activities

The Commission gives attention on bee biology, with special reference to the following aspects, which are of particular importance for beekeeping practice:
Bee biology in cold, temperate and tropical climates;
Bee physiology;
Bee genetics;
Conservation of bee races;
Selection and breeding;
Artificial insemination;
Physiology of nutrition;
Biology of Apis cerana, A. florea, A. dorsata and other Apis-species;
Biology of stingless bees;
Biology and breeding method of bumblebees.

The actual state of matters is presented to beekeepers and scientists on the occasion of the International Apimondia congresses and symposia. The Commission also stands for the administration of the International Apimondia Beekeeping Museum (situated in Mechelen, Belgium) and is looking after connections with other beekeeping museums all over the world.

  • Members

The Commission is organised by its members under the Presidency of Mr Octaaf Van Laere (Belgium)
Prof. Dr. J. Woyke (Poland) Bee Genetics
Prof. Dr. L. Verma (India) Biology of Apis cerana
Prof. Dr. L.S. Goncalves (Brazil) Bee biology in tropical climates
Prof. Dr. S. Wongsiri (Thailand) Artificial insemination of Apis cerana, Queen rearing
Prof. Dr. E.K. Eskov (Russia) Physiology and biophysics of social insects
Prof. Dr. Erwin J. Hentschel (Germany) Bee endocrinology

Two working groups are also active:

- "Working Group on Apis Cerana" - President: Prof. Dr. L. Verma, India
- "Working Group on Honeybee Genetics and Race Conservation" - President: Dr. T. Rinderer, Louisiana USA