Honeybees, Maine, 2007
Photograph by Peter EssickSwarming honeybees, like these on Maine's Appledore Island, frequently differ about where to establish a new nest. But the group usually chooses the best site. Bees reach this decision by gathering information, conducting independent evaluations, and holding a kind of vote. Scientists are studying such swarm intelligence—note the yellow and blue identifier dots on the bees in this photo—for clues about how humans might manage complex systems, from truck routing to military robots.