I was telling Kari Moore about this biomimicry-based technique for optimizing transportation routes, and figured the rest of this group might be interested as well, so I'm posting here rather than just emailing Kari. Most of the work so far has been done in Europe, but we do have some OSU Fisher School of Business faculty who are beginning to work with this algorithm.
Now for the musings of an entomologist - if you add the behavior of Argentine ants to the basic algorithm, you get a shifting nest site, and if you add in the optimal allocation of load size and distance to the body size of workers that a Malaysian leaf cutter ant species has been shown to follow, you'd have something even more like the challenge of local food system logistics - optimal vehicles and paths for multiple and ephemeral sources transported to multiple and varying markets or aggregation points.
Like a lot of things these days, there's a website devoted entirely to Ant Colony Optimization. You can read more, probably more than you want to read at least in one sitting, at: http://www.aco-metaheuristic.org/publications.html
The first overview pdf's are a good start. I'd be interested in knowing if any of you are using this technique.