Bees use mathematical prowess to communicate the exact location of nearby food to other bees via a technique dubbed the "bee dance." It is the only known instance of symbolic communication in the animal kingdom (unless we consider there are deeper metaphors in "Real Housewives of New Jersey") and today a group of scientists are building a robot that can mimic that behavior of bees.

In the 1940s, ethologist and Nobel laureate Karl von Frisch became the first person to decode the bee dance.

Frisch, K. von 1967. The Dance Language and Orientation of Bees. Harvard University Press. Link: RoboBee Project.

Now, Dr. Raul Rojas, director of Berlin's Free University's Project RoboBee is trying to "hack the system" of the bees' cognitive processes and construct a mechanical bee capable of luring real ones out of the hive and even lead them to food. Using their own bee look-alike - a small wad of foam wrapped in thin plastic and connected to a meter-high contraption of metal, plexiglass and computer wiring - the researchers are able to perform their own "bee dance" via remote control.

Credit and link: Christopher Cottrell/CNN

What is still missing; how other bees decode it.

Berlin is abuzz with mechanical 'robot' bees by Christopher Cottrell, CNN