Refutation of claim on the CARM website.
Claim: The Book of Mormon talks of honey bees, but honey bees were introduced to the Americans by the Spanish. Therefore the Book of Mormon is false and you should not hire Mormons for any of your pollination needs.
Reference: Ether 2:3 – “And they did also carry with them deseret, which, by interpretation, is a honey bee; and thus they did carry with them swarms of bees…”
Explanation: There’s no two ways about it–this claim is simply false. The fact is, there is plain evidence of honey bees in the Americas prior to the arrival of Columbus. In 1519 Hernán Cortés reported beekeeping by the natives of Mexico, and not of European honey bees, but of another species entirely, namely domesticated Melipona bees. There is archaeological evidence that bees have been in Central America for thousands of years.