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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Manage land under power lines for wildlife Bee Conservation

Key messages

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One replicated trial in Maryland, USA found more bee species under power lines managed as scrub than in equivalent areas of annually mown grassland.


Supporting evidence from individual studies


Power line rights-of-way are unfarmed and provide potentially valuable linear strips of habitat for bees and other wildlife. In the USA, they are periodically cleared of vegetation by mowing and/or herbicide treatment. A more cost-effective management method involves removing trees and other tall vegetation, mechanically and with selective herbicides, but retaining a dense scrub. One replicated trial under eight power line strips on a Wildlife Refuge in Maryland, USA (Russell et al. 2005) found significantly more bee species under power lines managed this way (32.5 bee species/site on average) than in equivalent areas of annually mown grassland on the Refuge, representing conventional power line management (23.2 species/site). There was no significant difference between power line scrub and mown grassland in the abundance of bees.

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