Some late-departing Canada geese heading south. On the prairies they got caught by the snow, and some members of the flock must have asked the leader. “Why are we still here for heaven’s sake ?”
I have long been convinced that geese have flight sergeants or maybe wing commanders, and maybe they’re elected. Biologists agree that democracy is not unknown in nature.
Since we humans may not have another election anywhere for a couple of years, why not see if can learn something? In addition to Canada geese we should put on appropriate protection and look at honey bees.
An entomologist at Cornel University has written a fascinating book called Honeybee Democracy. In his research, Tom Seeley found that all of the bees, male and female, get to vote when it’s time to move to a new home. They do so by dancing and beating their wings. Seeley also found out how old Queen bees are eased into retirement, and replacement Queens are chosen.
There have been similar findings about troops of monkeys, and several other creatures. In virtually all species that have been studied, it’s clear that ‘consensus’ is necessary if major decisions are to be made correctly, so that everyone stays happy.
Now I’m betting that there still must be campaigning of some kind. And there are probably group members who try to cut corners and buy their way out of difficult situations.
But back up to the sky, those flight sergeants sound pretty tough.
( … more geese .. )
Have a great winter boys and girls. We’ll see you in the spring of 2013.
I’m Roger Currie
You can listen to Roger Currie’s commentary by clicking on the link below: