Tiny bees found in woman's eye, feeding off tears

Doctors discover four live bees feeding on tears inside woman's eye

Doctors treating a Taiwanese woman found four tiny bees living under her left eyelid.
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Local media reports indicate that a 29-year-old Taiwanese woman identified only by her surname, He, experienced just that last week after she paid a visit to a relative's grave. As the name implies, sweat bees are often attracted to perspiration and have been known to feed on human teardrops due to their high protein content.

The doctor said it was fortunate Ms He had not rubbed her eyes as it could have squashed and killed the bees, and this would likely have led to more serious injury and could have caused blindness.

The team that treated the woman says if she had waited for treatment they may have had to remove her eyeball.

Hung said that the bees were about 3mm in length. Thankfully the doctors removed the insects (who were slurping down on their host's tear ducts) and there seems to be no lasting damage to He, only to the sleeping patterns of everyone who hears about this story.

Getty Sweat bees were found in a woman's eyelid. When her eyes became swollen and painful, she went to a hospital in southern Taiwan.

Dr Hong Chi Ting of the Fooyin University Hospital told the BBC he was "shocked" when he pulled the 4mm insects out by their legs.

"I was visiting and tidying a relative's grave with my family", He said.

The sweat bee feeds off nectar and pollen, but is also drawn to human perspiration, which provides "precious moisture and salts", according to the Missouri Department of Conservation.

"She couldn't completely close her eyes", Dr. Hong said. The insects had made a new home inside the woman's eyelid - that is, until they were all successfully removed alive. "I was squatting down and pulling out weeds".

Thinking it was only dirt, she cleaned her eye out with water and did not rub her eyes much for the rest of the day.

"This is the first time in Taiwan we've seen something like this", he added. "I don't expect we'll ever see it again".

Bees living in a woman's eye.

Timothy Bella is the deputy editor of Morning Mix.

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