We derive an operator identity which relates tight-binding Hamiltonians with arbitrary hopping on the Bethe lattice to the Hamiltonian with nearest-neighbor hopping. This provides an exact expression for the density of states (DOS) of a non-interacting quantum-mechanical particle for any hopping. We present analytic results for the DOS corresponding to hopping between nearest and next-nearest neighbors, and also for exponentially decreasing hopping amplitudes. Conversely it is possible to construct a hopping Hamiltonian on the Bethe lattice for any given DOS. These methods are based only on the so-called distance regularity of the infinite Bethe lattice, and not on the absence of loops. Results are also obtained for the triangular Husimi cactus, a recursive lattice with loops. Furthermore we derive the exact self-consistency equations arising in the context of dynamical mean-field theory, which serve as a starting point for studies of Hubbard-type models with frustration.