EU Bee Partnership Unveils New Online Platform for Data on Pollinator Health
The EU Bee Partnership (EUBP) has unveiled a new online data platform that it believes will play a crucial role in efforts to protect bee and pollinator health . The EUBP prototype platform is a groundbreaking tool that will centralise, process and visualise bee and pollinator-related data.
Stakeholders from different sectors – beekeeping and farming associations, European agencies, the phytopharmaceutical industry, veterinary associations, NGOs, and others – have collaborated closely to develop the platform. BeeLife European Beekeeping Coordination led the development of the platform, thanks to a grant from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
The EUBP platform is a new milestone in efforts to improve the sharing of harmonised and standardised data on pollinators.
(The EU Bee Partnership Prototype Platform on Bee Health: www.bee-ppp.eu)
In 2017, the European Parliament requested that a new stakeholder discussion group on bee health data be created and facilitated by EFSA: the EU Bee Partnership . The EUBP subsequently concluded that bee and pollinator health data is not interoperable, and therefore hard to access, communicate and often fragmented. Hence, stakeholders needed to work together to ensure data standardisation and accessibility. The new objective was to transform isolated data into aggregated and valuable information. Considering the ongoing pollinator crisis and EU's commitment to halt and reverse their decline (as established in the Biodiversity Strategy and the EU Pollinator Initiative), unleashing the power of pollinator data is crucial.
EU Bee Partnership Prototype Platform on Bee Health - Interactive Map
The EU Bee Partnership Prototype Platform on Bee Health is the first practical effort to respond to identified weaknesses in data collection, standardisation and sharing. It provides two critical solutions. First, it gives a stable platform that enables data storage and visualisation. It allows for automatised visualisation through an interactive map. All displayed data is complemented with information on its origin and provider. Individuals, organisations or projects with relevant data are welcome to share their data with the platform. Providers of data always retain control of their data, as they can select if the data is made public or not. The EUBP platform explicitly credits data sources and ownership.
Second, it processes new data with automated algorithms to integrate it and advance a new data-sharing standard. EUBP works in collaboration with the Apimondia Bee Data Standardisation Group (BeeXML)  to achieve new standards in pollinator data collection and communication.
The platform is constantly growing, and administrators regularly integrate new data. Nineteen data providers from different sectors have already shared their data with the platform, which incorporates 18 datasets and over 2 million data points. These numbers will increase as the platform moves towards becoming fully operational.
The EUBP prototype platform is a new collaborative effort from pollinator health stakeholders. The platform is growing to become the most important source for pollinator-related data. Future developments will require improving data sharing and integration automation, automatically conforming new data into a standard for communication and visualisation. Thanks to the EUBP platform, we will better understand the challenges pollinators face and inform decision-making at different levels. Beekeepers, farmers, researchers, policymakers, and citizens, will benefit from strengthened information on the status of pollinators.
EUBP Platform Promotional Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JGkoaIC_fo
 EFSA. 2018. Terms of Reference for an EU Bee Partnership. https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.2903/sp.efsa.2018.EN-1423
 Apimondia Bee Data Standardisation (BeeXML group). http://beexml.org
Find out more about the EU Bee Partnership Prototype Platform on Bee Health
Promotional video of the platform: https://youtu.be/4JGkoaIC_fo