Darwin was not at all unsure about the value of his orchid book. He viewed it as presenting the most convincing case for natural selection that he could make.
Nature rights apply to individual animals. And, one would assume, to be consistent, to individual plants, insects, water, and (what the hell) germs too.
It is important to qualify what “consciousness” means when we are talking about bees.
What do biologists make of the apparently purposive nature of all these different kinds of complex programmed behaviors?
Charles Darwin conceded that such instincts are “so wonderful” that their origin would strike many as “a difficulty sufficient to overthrow my whole theory.”