Earlier this year, we partnered with Bee XML to publish a peer-reviewed study examining our methods for evaluating the pollination effectiveness of beehives. Bee XML Journal is a brand-new initiative that aims to publish research focused on analysis and standardization of bee data from around the globe. The Journal was created to provide researchers, apiculturists and bee enthusiasts with an archive that enables bee data sharing.
Issues faced by bee researchers
Before Ellie and I started The Bee Corp, we ran a beekeeping club at our university. As newbie beekeepers ourselves, we relied on internet research to develop our lesson plans. But we kept running into the same issue: no matter the topic, we’d always find conflicting information. It seemed like every beekeeper had their own way of doing things. If one expert recommends method A, another expert would bash method A and endorse method B.
We saw a major problem in the industry: a disconnect between commercial beekeepers and the research community. This disconnect likely stems from the unique challenges associated with researching bees. Collecting data from hives is slow, labor-intensive, and often disruptive to bee behavior. Methods used by researchers to collect and record bee data are not standardized, which introduces problems with sharing results and referencing previous studies.
The introduction of data collection and recording standards would be a significant development for bee researchers, opening the door to increased collaboration. With greater confidence in data collected by their colleagues, researchers could refer to data from previous studies rather than collecting data themselves, reducing the cost and time to conduct bee research.
When bee research can be conducted more efficiently, we can produce findings more rapidly. The research community can advance our knowledge of bees at a faster pace and become more responsive to emerging challenges faced by beekeepers.
The potential of Bee XML
We see the launch of Bee XML Journal as a major step towards repairing the marriage between the research community and commercial beekeepers. With a focus on data standardization and improved communication of findings, Bee XML is focused on solving the core issue faced by bee researchers.
"Let’s imagine what could be done with hundreds of thousands of beekeepers around the world reliably sending primary data to a place that could merge them with secondary data and analyze them."
- JOSEPH CAZIER & WALTER HAEFEKER, Members of the Bee XML Apimondia Working Group
By positioning itself as a dedicated research team tasked with producing actionable results for the world’s beekeepers, we’re confident that Bee XML Journal can fuel more collaboration in the beekeeping industry.
We’re thrilled to co-author the first-ever study published in Bee XML Journal. We hope their platform can lead to an evolution in practical bee research by uniting the interests of academic researchers and commercial beekeepers.