David Zeisberger, indomitable Moravian missionary, penned his detailed observations, knowledge and experience with Native American life ways and of wild North America during the Contact Period as tentacles of pioneer settlement fingered westward across the Alleghenies. Zeisberger cataloged wildlife in later sections of his history while at his remote mission, Schoenbruun Village, near today's New Philadelphia, Ohio, most likely completing his notes during the summer of 1780.
Zeisberger noted (page 152):
Of bees, nothing was known when we came here in '72, now they are to be found in large numbers in hollow trees in the woods.Zeisberger's fascinating history and bestiary can be viewed online here: David Zeisberger's History of Northern American Indians.
Honey bees were, and remain, agricultural partners with Western commercial agriculture. They were introduced alongside pioneer European agriculture and alongside the many species of undesired European weeds that came with imported livestock feed and crop seeds. Westward spreading exotic flowering weed species provided essential nutrition for westward spreading honey bees. Pioneer honey bees, always just ahead of pioneering peoples, did not reach eastern Ohio for 150 years following introduction in Virginia by 1622.
Native American agriculture produced abundance through partnerships with native pollinators, among them, butterflies, hummingbirds, ants, flies, beetles, and our numerous species of solitary bees, small semi-colonial native ground-nesting bees, and our heavyweight pollinators, bumblebees.
More on honey bees:
Colony collapse disorder CCD
First record of honey bees imported to North America