Our Honey Bee jewelry is made from original antique Victorian buttons from the late 19th century cast in silver and bronze. Perfect for beekeepers, gardeners and friends of the honey bee, our Queen Bee, Nectar and Beehive jewelry is inspired by a fascinating history.
Bees and human culture have been in relation for more than 8,500 years and have strong links to mythology in many cultures. Believed by ancient Aegean and Near Eastern cultures to be the animal capable of traveling back and forth between the living and the land of the dead, the honey be holds an important place in many regions. The Minoan-Mycenaean figure Potnia was known as "The Pure Mother Bee" and her priestesses were given the name Melissa, or "bee". Priestesses of Diana and Demeter were also known as "Bees" and the Priestess at Delphi was often referred to as a bee. This 7th century BCE golden plaque found in Rhodes shows a winged bee goddess.
Centuries later, Napoleon chose the honey bee as an Imperial emblem, tracing it's history back to the tomb of the 5th century Merovingian king, Childeric I, who was buried in a cloak covered in 300 golden winged insects with garnet inlay.
The tomb was discovered in 1653 in what is now Belgium. A collection of 300 winged insects, thought to be either cicadas or bees, was among the burial offerings. The treasure went to the Habsburgs, then was given as a gift to Louis XIV. After the French Revolution, the royal library became the National Library and the treasure thus arrived in Napolean's hands. Luckily, a Burgundian scientist, illustrator and archeologist made detailed drawings of the insects in May of 1653, since they were stolen in 1831 and melted down for the gold.
The honey bee was also adored by the Victorians - who decorated buttons and silk fabrics with bee designs like this one throughout the 19th into the 20th century. This 1870s Victorian micro-mosaic brooch is crafted with thousands of tiny pieces.
Our Nectar design features a tiny honey bee landing on a flower in a garden full of blossoms: