World Bee Day: EU data partnership set to launch
The EU Bee Partnership is ready to get down to business after all involved stakeholders agreed a framework for action that could revolutionise the collection and sharing of data on bee health in the EU.
The proposed partnership was the key outcome of a symposium organised by EFSA as part of the European Parliament’s Week of Bees and Pollination in 2017. Since then, a stakeholder group has been working to agree the terms of reference that will guide the work of the partnership.
The group was made up of representatives from beekeeper associations, conservation organisations, farmer associations, the plant protection and veterinary medicine industries, as well as risk assessors, scientists and veterinarians. It was coordinated by EFSA.
Bernhard Url, EFSA’s Executive Director, said: “What better way to mark the first international World Bee Day than to share the exciting news that the EU Bee Partnership has become reality?
“Bee health is an issue very close to our hearts at EFSA. Since 2015 our MUST-B team has been working to develop an approach to risk assessment of bees that takes account of all major stressors. Harmonised data collection is absolutely key to the success of this project.”
The objective of the EU Bee Partnership is to improve the collection, management and sharing of data and thus assist the development of a holistic approach to assessing bee health in Europe and beyond. It will focus initially on:
- Developing an inventory of data on the health of honey bees, bumble bees and solitary bees;
- Identifying ways to harmonise the collection and management of data;
- Developing tools for the assessment of bee health, to assist beekeepers, farmers and others.
Members of the stakeholder group will present the terms of reference for the EU Bee Partnership at this year’s European Week of Bees and Pollination.