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Open Access Publications from the University of California

BID: A project to share biotic interaction and ecological trait data about bees (Hymenoptera: Anthophila)

  • Author(s): Seltmann, Katja
  • Van Wagner, Janice
  • Behm, Rachel
  • Brown, Zachary
  • Tan, Elaine
  • Liu, Kristi
  • et al.
The data associated with this publication are in the supplemental files.
Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

We introduce the Bee-Interaction-Database (BID), a project to create an open dataset about bee biotic interactions and other traits. Traits such as floral specialization, behavior, seasonality, parasites, nesting biology, body size and more may be included in the scientific literature, on natural history specimens, or observable in photographs (i.e., iNaturalist). Yet this information is often time-intensive to collect, hidden in the literature, and difficult to combine into one dataset because no uniform method for sharing traits and biotic information is used.

To date, we have extracted close to 3,000 unique bee observations from the scientific literature and integrated them into the Global Biotic Interactions (GloBI -, online infrastructure for sharing species interaction data. An early observation in our project is that trait data and interaction data are frequently part of the same recorded observation. In addition, authors frequently do not publish or include the raw data that goes into analyses, such as the study locality or specific interactions observed for the study. In conclusion, we hope to encourage new methods for publishing interaction and trait data that improves the reusability of research and provides authors a means of openly sharing trait data in the name of biodiversity research. This presentation was part of the 2020 Entomological Society of America meeting and was presented online.

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