Dr. Minahan’s PhD is from the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment of the Hebrew University, at the B. Triwaks Bee Research Center, with its established reputation in the field of honey bee nutrition, cognition, and behavior, Dr. Minahan will examine the effects of malnutrition on adult honey bees. Honey bees are highly valued pollinators, yet colony losses have occurred in many locations, resulting from a variety of stressors, the effects of which are amplified by malnutrition. Honey bees seek to balance deficiencies in essential fatty acids such as omega 6 and omega 3. Dr. Minahan is testing the effects of high and low omega 6:3 ratio on the foraging performance of honey bees. He expects that malnourished bees, those fed a high omega 6:3 ratio, will forage precociously, have longer foraging bouts, forage less frequently, and show earlier mortality. He will also test the spatial navigation ability of honey bees, expecting that malnourished bees will spend a greater amount of time, and make more errors, while navigating a flight maze. This research will contribute to a better understanding of the factors contributing to honey bee colony losses.
As a National Outdoor Leadership School field instructor, Dr. Minahan planned and led 1-4 week-long backpacking and backcountry skiing expeditions to facilitate student leadership development.