Does the US have native honey bees or are they all from the old world like the Italians?
Yeah, no native honey bees,...as far as I know.
So how did North America get pollinated before 1492? The way I've always heard it was without honey bees the veggie crop would be history.
Reckon the natives are getting a little revenge?
The pollination was accomplished by native bees, moths and wasps. How many have been pushed into extinction is anybody's guess. The native Americans didn't eat the same diet we have, no apples, no peaches, no pears, no clover and alfalfa for their non-existent beef cattle. Their diet included lots of corn, game meats (bison, turkey and fish) and fruits like Pawpaw, Persimmon and berries. Local tribes ate what grew around them. Wild rice was a staple in the upper MidWest, maple syrup provided sweetener across the northern states. Chestnuts grew in abundance across the East, Pecans and Hickories grew almost from border to border. So there are lots of crops that don't require pollination by honeybees, but it would make your diet more bland and repetitive.
For many years my apple orchard was pollinated by native bees, [no honey bees in my neck of the woods] several years later I put in a couple of hives just for fun, I didn't see any difference.
So, some of us wouldn't have to starve without them,..as they claim we would.
As our diets are now, we would starve without them.
But thats because most of the modern western diet is built around European foodstocks that were honey bee pollinated. Many of the native American foodstuffs are either wind pollinated (corn) or can readily self pollinate (tomatoes, peppers, etc). The rest are pollinated by local insects such as flies (the pawpaw tree in particular has meaty red flowers with an almost rotten meat smell to attract the flies).
While it is true there are no native honeybees in the Americas, that does not mean there are no native bees. Just that the ones that were here do not stockpile excessive amounts of honey like their european cousins do.
Yes, there are a lot of native bees here. Just read up on the mason bee and the many variations there of. Plenty of other insects and hummers. I read where three mason bees can pollinate one fruit tree. They fly in bad weather and the Euro's won't. I see where some of us will survive so I put my name on that list.