The potential conservation value of unmowed powerline strips for native bees

  • Published source details Russell K.N., Ikerd H. & Droege S. (2005) The potential conservation value of unmowed powerline strips for native bees. Biological Conservation, 124, 133-148.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Manage land under power lines for wildlife

Action Link
Bee Conservation
  1. Manage land under power lines for wildlife

    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.

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