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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Manage hedges to benefit bees Bee Conservation

Key messages

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One replicated controlled trial showed that hedges managed under the Scottish Rural Stewardship scheme do not attract more nest-searching or foraging queen bumblebees in spring than conventionally managed hedgerows.

 

Supporting evidence from individual studies

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A replicated, controlled trial of the Rural Stewardship agri-environment scheme on five farms in Scotland found that hedgerows dominated by hawthorn Crataegus monogyna or blackthorn Prunus spinosa were less attractive than field margins or grasslands to nest-searching queen bumblebees Bombus spp. in April and May (Lye et al. 2009). There was no significant difference in numbers of foraging or nesting queens between hedgerows managed under the agri-environment scheme (winter cut every three years, gaps filled, vegetation below unmown and unsprayed) and conventionally managed hedgerows. The study took place before the woody species comprising the hedgerow came into flower.

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