Conversation Piece IX

A weekly series.

Daily Edit: Conversation Piece

Enjoy our Sunday series, Conversation Piece, a NUVO-curated digest of things on the Internet we think you’ll want to talk about.

The largest war in history is happening right now. It’s between ants. Here’s the breakdown: Linepithema humile, a common brown variety of ant, used to expend energy in territorial skirmishes among rival colonies of its own kind. But now, for some reason, all L. humile ants have united into a global mega colony, and are slaughtering every other species of ant they find by the trillion. What changed? Read more.

The buzzing dead. Zombie bees have crossed the border from the U.S. (where they were first discovered, flying by night in San Francisco) into Canada. Now, in addition to having pesticides, mites, and fungal diseases to contend with, parasitic flies are hatching their mind-controlling young inside hijacked bumblebee bodies. Since the spread of the infestation has gone largely unmonitored, one must wonder: how big of a problem could this really bee? Read more.

A far cry from funnel cake. Over the years, the CNE has progressively pushed the boundaries of what we’re willing to consider food (see: deep-fried butter). This year’s star culinary experiment is taking a healthier, if creep-crawly-er, direction: think cricket tacos, bug-topped hot dogs, and beetle juice shakes. According to this reviewer, the high-protein snacks are ultra-tasty, too, so prepare to stand in line—this food stall will be swarmed. Read more.

What have you done, lately? The best part of this story about how one man repopulated an endangered butterfly species in his own backyard may be just how empowered one feels reading about his straight-up can-do attitude. The pretty, sea-blue California pipevine swallowtail had all but disappeared from San Francisco, so 28-year-old local Tim Wong rolled up his sleeves, planted some flowers, nurtured some chrysalises, and got them back. Read more.