Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Control fire risk using mechanical shrub control and/or prescribed burning Bee Conservation

Key messages

One replicated controlled trial in mixed temperate forest in the USA showed that for bee conservation, it is best to control fire using cutting and burning combined. This increases herbaceous plant cover in subsequent years.


Supporting evidence from individual studies


A replicated controlled trial in mixed temperate forests in North Carolina, USA, tested the effects of prescribed burning and mechanical shrub control (cutting) or both, on the abundance of flower-visiting insects in the subsequent two years (Campbell et al. 2007). There were three replicates of each treatment, in 14 ha plots. There were more bees and more bee species in plots that underwent both mechanical shrub control and prescribed burning, compared to plots with mechanical shrub control only, prescribed burn only or no fire control. Mechanical shrub control and burning combined led to hotter fires and increased herbaceous plant cover, providing more forage plants for bees in subsequent years.

Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Dicks, L.V., Showler, D.A. & Sutherland, W.J. (2010) Bee conservation: evidence for the effects of interventions. Pelagic Publishing, Exeter, UK