Four bees discovered living in a woman's eye, feeding on her tears

Geraldine Edwards
April 11, 2019

A Taiwanese woman had living bees removed from one of her eyes, a doctors at Fooyin University Hospital revealed last Wednesday.

He then proceeded to inspect her eye under his microscope but discovered insect legs wriggling in her socket.

Measuring only three to four millimeters in length, the tiny bees flew into the 28-year-old woman's eye when she was pulling weeds at a relative's grave site. Assuming it was dirt, she washed her eye out with water.

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In what doctors at Fooyin University Hospital in Taiwan called a "world first", they managed to successfully remove all four sweat bees alive from her tear duct. Hung Chi-ting told CTS news at a press conference.

A Taiwanese woman identified only by her surname He was recently found to have four living sweat bees feeding from her tear ducts. They also drink tears for their high protein content, according to a study by the Kansas Entomological Society. "Thankfully she came to the hospital early", he said.

While sweat bees tend to be a non-aggressive species of bees, they are known to be attracted to human sweat, hence, their name.

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Hung pulled the sweat bees out of He's eye one at a time and under a microscope without damaging their bodies.

While there are more than 1,000 species of sweat bees in the United States, Canada and Central America, according to Terminix, they are nearly painless, and only sting when they are provoked.

Though they can appear in large numbers, they typically do not show any signs of aggression - the sweat bees have the least painful sting of all stinging insects - and will only sting someone if they're pressed against their skin.

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She recovered 80% of her vision because she had refrained from rubbing her eyes throughout the ordeal. "If she did she could have induced the bees to produce venom ... she could have gone blind". She is expected to make a full recovery.

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