The plight and preservation of native insects and their habitat is of huge importance to me, and over many years I’ve sought to dedicate my home landscape to encouraging these populations. Though this property is within a rural, primarily forested region of southern IL, the threat to bees is just the same. Animal agriculture, chemical use, drift, climate change…all have an impact. Many people automatically designate the thistle as noxious and something to remove, but if properly identified, property owners can cherish and encourage some native thistle populations which are hotbeds of pollinator activity. Bees and butterflies flock to it.
The cosmos is a native American flower, though not native to the United States. It can be found in regions of Mexico in very dry climate. It’s a prolific annual wildflower that thrives in high heat, and is also a hotbed of pollinator activity. This native bumblebee takes time to rest under a bloom.