Native Thistles Have Been Getting Bad Rap From Invasive Species

Image of swamp thistle.

(Lancaster Farming) “Our native thistles are sort of a largely forgotten and wrongly maligned group of wildflowers.” Thistles are popular among pollinators, include the American bumble bee, the tiger swallowtail and monarch butterflies. Despite their conservation value, native thistles have lost habitat due to farming, development and failure to distinguish them from invasive species.

As bumble bee diets narrow, ours could too

Image of bumble bee on flower.

(UC Riverside) “Our study is the first to look at diet during this stage where queen bumbles are trying to start a nest, and to show that the diets they have access to impact how quickly they can transition to having helpers.” And without a variety of pollens available, the queens are constrained to fewer options, some of which appear to be bad for them.