TCN: Extending Anthophila research through image and trait digitization (Big-Bee)
Extending Anthophila research through image and trait digitization (Big-Bee)
Declining populations of bees impact plant-pollinator interactions in both natural and agricultural systems. While bees and other insects pollinate most wild plants, and are critical to sustain a large proportion of global food production, they are decreasing in both numbers and diversity. Our understanding of the factors driving these declines is limited because we lack sufficient data on the distribution of bee species, and on the behavioral and anatomical traits that may make them either vulnerable or resilient to human-induced environmental changes, such as habitat loss and climate change. Fortunately, wild bees have been collected by researchers and deposited in natural history collections for over 100 years, retaining a wealth of associated attributes that can be extracted from specimen images. This project will digitally capture data and images from these historic specimens, develop tools to measure bee traits from these images, and generate a comprehensive bee trait and image dataset to measure changes through time. This will increase our understanding of specific traits that put bee species at risk of decline - a critical need for both sustaining our agricultural economy and the conservation of our natural resources. In addition, the large image datasets created by this project can be used for new artificial intelligence identification tools that will help improve our future pollinator observation and monitoring efforts.
The Big-Bee Thematic Collection Network (Big-Bee TCN) will create over one million high-resolution 2D and 3D images of bee specimens, representing over 5,000 worldwide bee species, including all of the major pollinating species of the United States. The Big-Bee network includes 13 institutions and partnerships with US government agencies. Novel mechanisms for sharing image datasets will be developed and datasets of bee traits will be available through an open data portal, the Bee Library, for research and education. The Big-Bee project will engage the general public in research through community science via crowdsourcing trait measurements and data transcription from images. In addition, training and professional development for natural history collection staff, researchers, and university students in data science will be provided through the creation and implementation of workshops focusing on bee traits and species identification. All data resulting from this award will be shared with and publicly available through the national digitized biocollections resource, iDigBio.org.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
Project Websites & Social Media
Big-Bee project website: http://big-bee.net
Bee Library Symbiota Portal: https://library.big-bee.net
Big-Bee focused Global Biotic Interactions project page: https://www.globalbioticinteractions.org/bigbee
Big-Bee Network GitHub Project: https://github.com/Big-Bee-Network
YouTube (Macroscopic Solutions): https://macroscopicsolutions.com/video-tutorial-big-bee-tcn; https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXhbJ-JirA3-J7FihjXtUyg
Notes from Nature Big-Bee Bonanza project: https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/md68135/notes-from-nature-big-bee-bonanza
Citizen Science & Outreach Projects
Project sponsor: University of California-Santa Barbara
University of Nevada - Reno
Allen, Julie (NSF Award #2102006)
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services · Entomology, Nematology and Plant Pathology
Talamas, Elijah (NSF Award #2102006)
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Brown, Brian (NSF Award #2102006)
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Knowles, L. Lacey (NSF Award #2101345)
University of Colorado at Boulder
Carper, Adrian L. (NSF Award #2101850)
University of Kansas Center for Research Inc
Gonzalez, Victor H. (NSF Award #2101851)
California Academy of Sciences
Grinter, Chris (NSF Award #2101875)
San Diego Society of Natural History
Horsley, Pamela (NSF Award #2101876)
University of New Hampshire
Miko, Istvan (NSF Award #2101891)
Pierce, Naomi E. (NSF Award #2101908)
Arizona State University
Franz, Nico M. (NSF Award #2101913)
University of California-Berkeley
Tsutsui, Neil D. (NSF Award #2101929)
Protocols & Workflows
The full proposal can be found at Seltmann, K. C. (2021). Extending Anthophila research through image and trait digitization (Big-Bee) proposal. UC Santa Barbara: Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration. Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/2vm761mv
Seltmann KC, Allen J, Brown BV, Carper A, Engel MS, Franz N, Gilbert E, Grinter C, Gonzalez VH, Horsley P, Lee S, Maier C, Miko I, Morris P, Oboyski P, Pierce NE, Poelen J, Scott VL, Smith M, Talamas EJ, Tsutsui ND, Tucker E (2021) Announcing Big-Bee: An initiative to promote understanding of bees through image and trait digitization. Biodiversity Information Science and Standards 5: e74037. https://doi.org/10.3897/biss.5.74037
Seltmann, Katja C., & Poelen, Jorrit H. (2021). Big Bee indexed biotic interactions and review summary (0.1) [Data set]. Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5722445 on 24 Nov 2021
Seltmann, Katja C., Poelen, Jorrit H., Engel, Michael, & Gonzalez, Victor. (2022). Big Bee indexed biotic interactions and review summary (0.4.0) [Data set]. Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6950082 on 27 Jul 2022
Big-Bee publishes a quarterly report of global bee interactions indexed by GloBI that includes additional data curation such as the removal of duplicate records. This publication includes interactions from museum specimens, journal publications, and observations in both comma and tab-delimited formats. Katja C. Seltmann. (2022). Global Bee Interaction Data (v1.0.1) [Data set]. Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6564738on May 19, 2022
Seltmann, KC. (2021) New TCN: Big-Bee. Virtual ADBC Summit. Presentation for iDigBio and the ADBC program. Retrieved from https://www.idigbio.org/wiki/index.php/ADBC_Summit_2021 on 21 Sept 2021.
Other project documentation
Seltmann, K., Allen, J., Brown, B. V, Carper, A., Engel, M. S, Franz, N., et al. (2021). Announcing Big-Bee: An initiative to promote understanding of bees through image and trait digitization. Biodiversity Information Science and Standards, 5(e74037). Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/0937b5gp. Poster from TDWG 2021 Conference.
Gonzalez, VH., Seltmann, KC., Brown, B., Allen, J., Carper, A., Engel, M., et al. (2021). Big-Bee: Una iniciativa para promover el conocimiento de las abejas a través de la digitalización de imágenes y datos de rasgos. ID 112. Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/0856h3d2. Poster from XII Congreso Mesoamericano de Abejas Nativas, Centro de Investigaciones Apícolas Tropicales (CINAT), Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica, Nov. 20-21, 2021.
Shelly Leachman (2021). Creating a Buzz. UCSB Current. Retrieved from https://www.news.ucsb.edu/2021/020448/creating-buzz on 27 Oct 2021.
Tara Duggan. (2021). To help fight loss of bees, California Academy of Sciences to share 180,000-strong collection online. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved from https://www.sfchronicle.com/climate/article/To-help-fight-loss-of-bees-California-Academy-of-16570034.php on 2 Nov 2021.
Xu, C., & Seltmann, K. C. (2022). Variation of Ocelli Size Between Male and Female Bees in Species of Different Sociality. UC Santa Barbara: Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration. Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/0v065150 on 11 May 2022.
Eisner de Eisenhof, L., & Seltmann, K. (2022). Body Size and Taxonomic Influence on Bee Wing Vein Density. UC Santa Barbara: Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration. Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/0z73n6vt on 20 May 2022.
Wong-Lau, J., Klauke, H., Kaur, H., Alexander, N., Bang, J., & Seltmann, K. C. (2022). Big-Bee: Hair Recognition and Quantification. UC Santa Barbara: Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration. Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/0fb1n3pw on 06 Jun 2022.
Thrift, C. N, & Seltmann, K. C. (2021). Identifying island-mainland bee populations with wings. UC Santa Barbara: Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration. Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/4h46m0ws on 11 Jun 2022.
Miller, J. T, & Seltmann, K. C. (2022). Environmental Trends in the Distribution of California Bee Species. UC Santa Barbara: Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration. Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/36w6x8pp on 23 Jul 2022.
Matt Kettmann. Bee Happy. UC Santa Barbara Magazine Retrieved from https://magazine.ucsb.edu/spring-summer-2022/bee-happy on 25 Jul 2022.