13 July 2019


The last ice age pushed into the Sonoran desert and pushed out the Saguaro cactus and the Ironwood trees down to the middle of Mexico and replaced by Juniper forests and giant sloths. When the cold receded, the Saguaro came back to Arizona thousands of years faster than the Ironwood. Why? Birds. Birds can migrate hundreds or thousands of miles pooping seeds from the Saguaro fruit along the way. Ironwood seeds are eaten and pooped out by pack rats. Pack rats have small domains of a mile or more.

But first, plants need pollinators. In the desert these are bats, insects, and bees. They are genetic networkers for the plants they forage. They will forage up to 4 miles away and periodically, the whole hive will strike out and find a new place to resettle. Which makes me think of computer networks and networking software, site visits (like to a blog), and social media.

Insects with a queen are really one organism. Grouped together, I image a hive to be the size of a small dog. A small dog with 10,000 stingers. I've encountered a hive on the move while on the trail. I heard them before I saw them. I always give them space and respect because they can be aggressive. Our bees down here are Africanized, Africanized hybrids, aggressive, but are immune to the fungus that's killing bees elsewhere.

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