Both bee abundance and species richness were significantly negatively affected by disturbance; however, these effects were not strong (weighted mean effect sizes, Hedge's d = -0.32 and -0.37 respectively). Habitat loss and fragmentation had the strongest negative effect, but this effect was only statistically significant in extremely fragmented study systems. Social bees were more sensitive to disturbance than solitary bees. Our findings are consistent with other recent meta-analyses that show negative effects of habitat fragmentation on animal-pollinated plants, and on the abundance of crop-pollinating bees. In combination, these studies suggest that pollinators may be declining globally as a result of increasing human disturbance. Our study also shows that bees’ response to disturbance is heterogeneous and that low-intensity disturbance may be compatible with maintaining pollinators.