Posts tagged: News

Zayedlab at Nuit Blanche

By , October 5, 2013

Can you spot Brock, Daria, Jen, Lior and Bahar. They are participating in Diane Borsato’s Your Temper, My Weather: a 4 hour – 100 beekeeper group meditation for Toronto’s Nuit Blanche

Beekeepers using the force to improve bee health

Greg: I did it my way!

By , September 30, 2013

You can’t do a great citizen-science project without great citizens!  We recently asked  Beekeepers to collected a few workers from their colonies for a national survey of the genetics of Canadian honey bees.  We’ve received back more than 500 bees from every province; we’ve even got bees from Yukon!  Check out one beekeeper’s innovative sampling protocol here.  Thanks Greg.


Farewell Clement!

By , August 9, 2013

July was Dr. Clement Kent’s last month as postdoc in the lab; he will start a new position as a Senior Scientist at Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Farm Research Campus – probably one of the best places in the world to do neuroscience at the moment.  Clement was the first member to join my lab; he joined as a NSERC Postdoc fellow.  Congrats Clement; you’ll be missed!

Farewell Clement!

Farewell Clement!
top L-R: Maria, Catherine, Nadia, Daria, Clement, Jonathan, Brock, Phil, Lior
bottom L-R: Keshna, Amro, Ash, Kajendra, Bahar

Call For Bees!

By , July 9, 2013


We are looking for beekeepers to participate in a research project on the genetics of Canadian honey bee stocks funded by the Canadian Honey Council’s Bee Research Fund. If you are interested, sign up at the following website  Participation is easy! We will send you a labeled prepaid envelop with collection tubes, and you send it back to us with a few dead bees from your yard.  We are hoping to sample honey bees from coast to coast; commercial beekeepers, bee breeders, and scientists / hobbyists are welcome.

Please see for more information and to sign up.

Thanks for helping us with our project,

Amro Zayed

Brock wins CAPA student merit award

By , January 28, 2013

Congratulation to Brock Harpur for winning the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists’ student merit award for 2013! The award recognizes outstanding achievement in the study of apiculture. More on the award here.  Also see this news post from the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association
Congrats Brock – well deserved!

Amro on Quirks & Quarks

By , December 22, 2012

Why do honey bees have hairy eye balls?
Hear the answer on the Quirks Question Show on Saturday Dec. 29, at noon on CBC Radio One.  You can also listen online here.

New students join the lab

By , September 11, 2012

My first cohort of grad students successfully fledged the nest last August – Brock and Shermineh both defended their Masters degree. Brock’s free time was incredibly short-lived, as he just started his PhD studies (on honey bee population genomics and health) last week!

Brock and Shermineh celebrate their shiny MSc degrees (note the gold stars!)

I also want to welcome Nadia – a new masters student in the lab. Nadia got to do serious bee work over the summer, where she figured out how to train honey bees to navigate through mazes! – very cool, check out this video! She’ll use this test to study the genetics of learning and memory in honey bees. Welcome Nadia!

Nadia; Only dedicated students inspect colonies in the rain with no gloves!!!

The lab also welcomes two Research at York Students; Anna and Jonathan, who will help us with some molecular biology and bioinformatics research respectively.


Fall Winter RAY’s:
Jonathan and Ann

Amon and the Server

By , August 24, 2012

We’ve been a very excited bunch this last month – we recently purchased a super fast computer server to crunch a very large dataset; the genomes of many worker bees.

Clement put in some serious efforts to get the server up and running… and man, does it ever run!  The computer’s 24 cores crunch numbers so fast, that Amon had to wear a helmet when operating the machine!

Amon looks on as the server’s 24 cores light up (in red)



Clement, Amon, and Brock are in Awe!

Shermineh defends her MSc

By , August 24, 2012

Very happy to announce that Shermineh Minai successfully defend her Masters thesis today.  Shermineh contributed greatly to the population and genetic evolution studies we undertook over the past two years.  She was a co-author on the recent paper on the effects of management on genetic diversity in the honey bee, in addition to co-authoring a very exciting manuscript on the effects of recombination on GC content and molecular evolution in the honey bee (currently being reviewed).  She also wrote another manuscript on the molecular evolution of transcription factors involved in regulating worker behaviour.

Congrats Shermineh on a very productive masters.


Brock defends his MSc

By , August 20, 2012

Congrats to Brock for successfully defending his masters’ thesis today. Brock’s thesis was awarded with distinction (top 5%) and contained one published paper and one manuscript that is about to be submitted. Brock was very productive; he completed one published side project and several other experiments that will be written up this fall/winter.

All you bee fans out there – don’t despair! Brock is continuing his research in the lab as a PhD candidate this September.

Congrats Brock!