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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Increase areas of rough grassland for bumblebee nesting Bee Conservation

Key messages

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One replicated controlled trial on lowland farms in Scotland showed that grassy field margins attracted nest-searching queen bumblebees in spring at higher densities than cropped field margins, managed or unmanaged grasslands or hedgerows.


Supporting evidence from individual studies


A replicated, controlled trial of the Rural Stewardship agri-environment scheme on 10 farms in Scotland found that 1.5 to 6 m wide grassy field margins attracted nest-searching queen bumblebees at higher densities than managed or unmanaged grasslands or hedgerows (Lye et al. 2009). On five farms with the agri-environment scheme, researchers counted an average of around nine nest-searching queens/100 m on grassy field margins, compared to around seven nest-searching queens/100 m in species-rich grassland transects, five for conventional arable field margins, and four on unmanaged (abandoned) grassland transects. The study did not record the numbers of established nests later in the year.

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