Looking through bead sites and blogs I came across this post by Designing Vashti. She gives instructions for a crochet stitch called foundation stitch, which is great for crocheting with beads. This stitch obviously helps keep the beads in the position you want them. I haven't tried it yet, but definitely bookmarked the page.
Crocheting with beads isn't something I've thought seriously about because you usually have to string the beads on your crochet thread first. This is something I've admired since the '60's when I had a neighbor making the very popular beaded lariats, but never got up enough patience to actually do.
I'm still working on the Native American bead embroidery project. Hopefully I'll have something to show in a few days.