New project launched to present bee related data on an interactive online platform
Updated: Apr 29, 2022
The EU Bee Partnership Operational Platform (EUBP Operational Platform) is a new, 2 year long project coordinated by BeeLife European Beekeeping Coordination. The overall aim is to help beekeepers, scientists, and farmers with openly accessible data related to bees and pollinators. The project is financed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and involves four partners from Austria, Belgium, and Slovenia.
The new project is a new milestone in efforts to improve the sharing of harmonised and standardised data on pollinators. It builds on existing features of the EUBP Prototype Platform (bee-ppp.eu, launched in July 2021), to centralise existing information related to bee health and to further develop its features and content. The new platform will be fully operational by 2024. It will include automatic translation, making it a useful tool for a diverse range of practitioners.
Pollinators such as bees are essential for healthy environments and human nutrition. Environmentalists, public institutions and the general public recognised their protection as a priority. Yet, bees and pollinators are facing increasing challenges that threaten their survival.
Environmental, agricultural, and food safety authorities, farmers, beekeepers, and researchers require accessible information to better perform their work. However, to date there was no online platform dedicated to centralising existing data on the topic.
To answer this need, BeeLife collaborates with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the EU Bee Partnership (EUBP) to develop an online platform (EUBP Operational Platform) by 2024. The simple and freely accessible web-portal is aiming to integrate, centralise and provide visualisation on high-quality information related to pollinators, bee health and beekeeping as well as other relevant data for the agricultural sector. So far, only Europe is considered, but the ambition is to build a global community.
What data will the EUBP Operational Platform cover?
The platform counts with the support of a large network of stakeholders from the EU Bee Partnership, including beekeeping and farming associations, bee scientists, environmental organisations, and veterinary associations.
Besides the EU Bee Partnership, several organisations and European and national projects have expressed interest or are already committed to supplying data for the platform such as number and weight of hives, stressors that affect bees (i.e. climate, land use, etc.) varroa infestation, etc.. These data are now in the process of being cleaned and expected to be available soon.
The interactive map – the core of the platform
The core of the platform is the interactive map. Data is made accessible to the users by visualising it on this map. Users will be able to select and filter different parameters including winter mortality, readings from digital monitoring systems, and socioeconomic data relevant for beekeeping.
Potentially the platform will include predictions such as pollination efficiency and yield predictions for beekeeping products.
The ultimate objective of the project is that when a provider uploads its own data, it will get automatically processed and visualised.
BeeLife and its members started engaging with EFSA and the EU Bee Partnership back in 2017 to tackle the challenges from a lack of data standardisation and centralisation. Since its creation, BeeLife has been working on the development of a network of field practitioners, researchers and policy-related representatives.
Since 2019, BeeLife and its members have been further developing this network and have kickstarted the creation of a technological solution for data acquisition, processing, integration, and visualisation.
First, the Bee Hub Proof of Concept was developed (with funding by the Internet of Bees - IoBee Fast-Track to Innovation project). Then, BeeLife continued with its efforts with the EU Bee Partnership Prototype Platform (Simon-Delso et al. 2021).
The Bee Hub and the subsequent EU Bee Partnership Prototype Platform were the materialisation of BeeLife’s modus operandi, centralising, analysing and sharing the information available in the pollinator world with different stakeholders. However, in all these years of work, it was clear that fragmentation, the lack of quality verification and accessibility to information hampers efficient decision making.
The work done so far shows that in Europe a lot of research exists about bees and pollinators, but in many cases, it is difficult for beekeepers or farmers to find and make use out of this data.
The EUBP Operational Platform works on an online surface designed to combine data and present it in an easy visual way, where practitioners can access ready-to-use information on an interactive map.
This new platform is a solution-oriented tool for pressing issues that relate to the environmental, socio-economic, and technological challenges surrounding pollinators.
BeeLife European Beekeeping Coordination (BE), Walloon Agricultural Research Centre (BE), Steirischer Landesverband für Bienenzucht (AT) and Zip Solutions (SL) are working together in the follow-up project to make the Prototype Platform fully functional until 2024.
Call for Collaboration
Are you involved in a national or a European project, where data relevant to the platform will be produced? Your organisation has a lot of data and you need visualisation for it? Are you a professional beekeeper who would be interested in sharing her/his data?*
We are open to different collaborations be it data providing, technological or monetary contributions.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to explore how you can support and benefit from collaborating with us on the development of this new platform.
*Please note that the ownership of the data stays with its provider with full rights to any modification. The platform only serves as a database with a visual interface, but not taking any rights regarding the ownership of the data.