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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Planting road verges with native prairie vegetation benefits wild bees in Kansas, USA

Published source details

Hopwood J.L. (2008) The contribution of roadside grassland restorations to native bee conservation. Biological Conservation, 141, 2632-2640

This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Restore species-rich grassland on road verges Bee Conservation

A replicated controlled trial in Kansas, USA (Hopwood 2008) found that seven road verges planted with native prairie grasses and flowers supported a greater number and diversity of bees than paired conventionally managed verges, four to five years after planting. Restored verges were mown every two to four years, or burned annually, while conventionally managed verges were mown three to four times during each growing season and certain weeds treated with herbicide. In total, 812 bees from 79 species were found on restored verges, compared to 353 bees from 53 species on conventionally managed verges. The verges studied were all 18-84 m wide. Verge width, slope, aspect and density of traffic on the adjacent road made no difference to the bee community. Native prairie vegetation includes bunch grasses, which grow in a way that leaves bare ground exposed and provides potential nesting areas for ground-nesting bees.