Ether 2:3 provides an interpretation of the word “deseret”:
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, and all manner of that which was upon the face of the land, seeds of every kind.
Why would Joseph Smith take a risk in saying there is a connection between the word “deseret” and the honeybee?
Recent scholarship has found that the honeybee has long been associated with the king of Egypt. The crown of Lower Egypt was named dšrt (pronounced Deshret) and the word was even used as a replacement for “bee” in Egyptian texts.
What are the odds that deseret would have such a meaning? How would Joseph Smith guess this?