This is the Jataí, a bee native to Brazil. Like all bees native to Brazil, she has no stinger and is super chill (nowadays we have bees with stingers, but they all came from Europe and Africa).
They like to build their hives inside nooks in solid rock or concrete and make a distinctive tube-like entrance that is carefully guarded against predators.
They’re really tiny and aren’t at all bothered by humans getting close to their hive so long as we leave them alone - my grandma had a hive on one of the walls in her yard for over 25 years, right by the narrow staircase that went up to the second level of the house where my gran lived (my cousin lived on the bottom half) and those gals gave zero fucks that a bunch of pinkish giants would stomp by their doorway on a regular basis.
I could stick my face right by their hive to watch them from close up and so long as I didn’t disrupt traffic absolutely no fucks were ever given.
Gem-set and diamond brooch, circa 1900
Designed as a butterfly, the head and thorax respectively set with a step-cut sapphire and an emerald and oval and pear-shaped diamonds, the wings set with variously shaped rubies, opals, emeralds and diamonds.
The XVIII Duke de Plasencia and Doña María de la Concepción lived during the very troubled and politically unstable years of the Spanish Civil War. They first met in Madrid on the terrace of the Hotel Universal in 1931 and it was love at first sight, however, the political situation separated them: the Duke took refuge in the Rumanian Embassy while Doña María de la Concepción moved to San Sebastian. Only twenty years later did they manage to formalise their union in holy matrimony in the famous Chapel of Santiago de Compostela.
This butterfly brooch was a present from the Duke to Doña María de la Concepción when during this very difficult period they managed on one occasion to meet in Biarritz, it was a symbolic gift to give her wings to escape the difficult political situation and a sign of a mutual oath and commitment to each other.
If I am asked where is the place on the earth that one can come across many miracles, I would name Armenia. Involuntarily you are suprised in such a small place on the earth it is possible to meet such monuments and such people, who can be the ornaments and pride of the whole world - Rockwell Kent