Wild bees on roadsides

Why we should make road verges more wild bee-friendly, and how we can

Violette LE FEON

Wild bees on roadsides - Ifsttar - Wild bees on roadsides

Summary: During the last twenty years, the decline of pollinating insects has raised concerns and questions among the scientific community but also within public authorities.
Among these insects, wild bees contribute significantly to the pollination of many crops and wild plants. Like many insects, they are victims of various pressures related to more intensive agricultural practices and the development of transport networks. The consequences on wild bee populations in Europe are such that today a number of species are threatened with extinction.
Roads are partly responsible for the pressures that affect wild bee populations, but in areas that have experienced environmental damage, road verges can help to overcome some of the problems. Indeed, in some places, road verges are the last sites that harbour the natural flora and its associated insects. They cover thousands of hectares on the national scale and are therefore linked to a wide variety of natural environments that make up the green network.
This document aims to show how roadside vegetation managers can take concrete action to conserve wild bees. The general importance of entomophilic pollination and the various pollinating insects are presented, as well as the particular interest and fundamental principles of action to support wild bees in road verges. Operational recommendations are made for providing food resources and nesting sites for the various wild bee species, as well as for ensuring actions are coherent in space and time.


Keywords: wild bees, local flora, nesting, road verges, management, protection


Collection: Scientific publications
Reference: OSI2-A
Publication date: October 2020
Number of pages: 118


Table of contents


  • Part I. Wild bees today: status and issues
  • Part II. Fundamentals of action to support wild bees in road verges
  • Part III. Operational recommendations for the management of road verges