Scientists in the United Kingdom are using the waggle dance of honeybees map and evaluate the richness of a 36-square mile eco-system.
Using bees in an observation hive, the scientists observed bees doing their waggle dance — the way in which they tell other bees where to forage for pollen and nectar. Then they use the same calculations the bees do for direction and distance.
It turns out that bees really do prefer nature preserves, a finding which can help justify the economic expenditure of maintaining some land free from agricultural use. In an interesting twist, bees found little to love in rural tracts being converted to organic farming techniques. The team hypothesizes that the intensive mowing required to control unwanted plants during the conversion period reduces the pollen producing plant density as well. (quoted)
The following video will tell you more:
Bees certainly have their uses, and they go far beyond making honey and even pollination.
Key words: bees mapping eco-systems, foraging, waggle dance, environmental scientists use bees, bees in the United Kingdom, TreeHugger.com, Christine Lepisto