The COVID-19 impact on BEEP
This update on the progress of the BEEP base was provided by April van Delden.
On the 16th of March, the Dutch government announced that everybody should stay home as much as possible to limit the outbreak of COVID-19. Since then, the BEEP team has been working mostly from home. However, an occasional visit to the office is necessary to pick up some tools or BEEP bases to work on.
To make sure we don’t forget what the other people look like we have a Skype meeting twice a week. In the first weeks, we spent a lot of time talking about the effects of self-quarantine on our lives. Now, four weeks in, we seem to have adapted to the situation. We were already using Slack for internal communication and this has further proven to be a very useful tool to collaborate. So, even though we miss the real social interactions, we can continue our work at our BEEP home offices.
In our last update we showed you how we were working on the assembly of the BEEP bases that have now all arrived at their mini apiaries. Since Wageningen and Ghent are relatively close by, we assisted in person with the installation of the BEEP bases. This helped to further enhance the installation guidelines for the other six apiaries. They are in contact with Stephan to set up their BEEP bases if needed.
Due to the Corona virus not all of you are able to go to the apiaries, or only limited. In France and Switzerland it is not possible to visit the apiaries. In other countries, visiting is possible but limited. Four apiaries are fully up and running with eight BEEP bases each, one apiary is still setting up and two apiaries have temporarily stopped installation due to restrictions.
Throughout the installation process we learned a lot from the universities. When questions arose, we knew that we had not explained all aspects of the process well enough. In the past few weeks we have been fine tuning our instructions and manuals. Also, we worked more with our new helpdesk software to communicate with all the parties, send out information and answer the questions.
In the meantime, Sijmen and George have been working on the Android and iOS BEEP base apps. These are the installation apps through which people can set up and calibrate the BEEP base and check the LoRa connection. As of June 2020, the Android and iOS BEEP base apps are now available in the respective app store!
Pim is also working on the BEEP (web)app to make sure it supports the new research feature. This enables people to share their data (also past data), and select multiple checklists for inspecting the hives. These checklists make data collection easy and structured for research purposes. Further adjustments in the BEEP app have a delay of 1 to 2 months on the initial plan, due to the challenges of the national restrictions caused by the COVID-19 virus.
Marten has been working on a policy document on managing data access and use for research and publications. It aims to clarify data ownership and use and it includes clear definitions. George designed the data architecture or domain model for the B-GOOD data portal. The data architecture is a description on the entities within the data structure, like users and data, and the connections between them.
Data collection with BEEP bases
The data is collected and centrally stored. The responsible researchers who take care of the colonies use the BEEP app to access sensor data as well as enter inspection data in line with the data collection protocols in work package 1.