Controlled burning is an essential tool for restoration and management of Pinus palustris (Longleaf Pine) habitats, yet effects of controlled burning on insect species, including pollinators, are rarely considered in conservation planning. We used blue vane traps to sample native bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) at recently burned and unburned sites in 2 Longleaf Pine upland forests in Mississippi and Louisiana. Our objective was to quantify short-term effects of controlled burns given fire-return intervals of 1–2 years are now regularly employed to manage Longleaf Pine woodlands. We sampled during 2016 and 2017 and collected 1777 native bees, representing 43 species. Recent fire was found to have no clear effect on species composition, richness, or community structure. Overall, bee communities from burned and unburned sites were similar. Even the community collected from a site that had remained unburned for 8 years was only marginally different from the others. These results suggest that native bee communities may be resilient to low intensity burns.
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Vol. 19 • No. 3