With no fixed infrastructure, discovering new ways of managing high mobility and limited resources to produce optimized routing in wireless ad hoc networks is the key objective of active research. Adaptive foraging principles found in insects have attracted the research community to develop new approaches that benefit from the simplicity and collaborative behaviours of these natural multi-agent systems. This paper discusses both traditional and swarm-intelligence-based routing and investigates the extent to which a new bee-inspired approach, termed BeeIP, results in adaptive, robust and optimized routing in networks of high mobility. BeeIP is directly and quantitatively compared with the state-of-the-art protocols using a variety of performance metrics. The results show that it outperforms the others by keeping low and balanced end-to-end packet delay under stressful network conditions, such as high traffic and mobility rates. In addition, BeeIP is indirectly and qualitatively compared with the first bee-inspired routing protocol, BeeAdHoc. The resulting discussion indicates that the proposed design can offer better packet delivery ratio and use smaller control packets, thus less overhead, by utilizing an enhanced adaptive path monitoring mechanism inspired by honeybee foraging.