>> Am I missing a converter?

Yes, you are missing the bed_to_bigwig converter. 

If you haven't made changes to your datatypes_conf.xml file, you can just copy 
datatypes_conf.xml.sample to datatypes_conf.xml to get the needed converters. 

If you've made changes to datatypes_conf.xml, you'll need to manually add the 
needed converters. We recently transitioned all the *_to_summary_tree 
converters to *_to_bigwig, so you'll want to remove the summary_tree converters 
and replace them with the bigwig converters.

>> And why would a BED file even needed to be converted?

Converter = indexer for visualizations. Datasets are indexed so that (a) 
aggregate (coverage) data is readily available when viewing a large region and 
(b) finding features in a small region (when zoomed in) is fast.

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