Xylocopa violacea [Linnaeus, 1758]
This isn’t a black honey bee, it’s a carpenter bee, aka Xylocopa (from Greek Xylo meaning wood). Carpenter bees were discovered by Swedish entomologist Carl Von Linné in 1758.
They tend to nest in trees as shown on the French Wikipedia page, much more documented than its English equivalent for some reason. All shot in our gardens in the Ariège. The plant is Acanthus whose leaves are reminiscent of those seen on Greek and Roman columns.