World Bee Day
There is a new mobile app that allows anyone to participate in helping build global awareness of the plight of agricultural pollinators.
The World Bee Count app was released as part of the third annual World Bee Day celebrations. Users download the app and then upload photos and locations of bees anywhere around the globe.
Dr. Joseph Cazier is Director of the Center for Analytics Research & Education at Appalachian State University. He says the app is “citizen science” and the first step toward building a global repository of shareable data.
Crazier: “ Currently there is a lack of standardized data that can be integrated and collected from around the world. This data set will start that process and grow over time with future years hopefully adding depth and breadth to the data source and enriching it with other sources of complementary data that can be added. It’s also the perfect opportunity to begin to standardize that data so it can be easily shared in a consistent way among many parties. “
The data provided by app users is anonymous.
Crazier: “And then it can be used by researchers, policy makers , data scientists and others to really understand what is happening to our pollinators around the world and what can we do to help them.”
The data is entered in a Global Pollinator Map to help beekeepers, farmers, environmental scientists and citizens to improve the lives of the pollinators and the environment.
World Bee Day was observed with an international teleconference which included discussion of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the beekeeping sector and how it affects agricultural production, markets and the livelihoods of beekeepers.
The International Association of Bee Keepers says that wind pollinates about two thirds of our crops such as rice, wheat and corn Bees and other insects pollinate the other third, such as nuts, fruits and vegetables.
The organization says bees are valuable in reducing poverty because beekeepers don’t have to own land, they have low startup costs, and they produce local income.