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

A bee on a man's finger

The next day, however, Ms He found her eye swollen and went to the hospital.

The tiny sweat bees had been surviving on her tear ducts, according to Taiwanese news channel CTS News. The ophthalmologist peered into the eye with a microscope, only to notice something much more unusual than a standard eye infection - tiny legs of four live sweat bees wriggling near her tear duct. After attempting to wash the foreign object from her eye, the woman began to feel severe pain, and her eye began to swell.

"She couldn't completely close her eyes", said Dr. Hong, an ophthalmology professor at Fooyin University Hospital. They are not usually aggressive and only sting if touched.

He was discharged and is expected to make a full recovery, KRON-TV reported. Doctors say she could have also developed a fever and central nervous system, and may have needed to have the eye removed if she waited longer before seeking help.

"I grabbed the leg and very slowly took one out, then I saw another one, and another and another".

Instead of attacking, the bees are merely interested in licking up human sweat with their short tongues as a way to supplement their diets, Terminix reports.

Sweat bees have short tongues, which come in handy for lapping up human sweat and has earned them their name. "They were still intact and all alive".

However, she started experiencing a stinging pain and here eye would tear up constantly.

In addition to affecting the woman's vision, the bees were also causing a skin infection and eroding her corneas. "If she did she could have induced the bees to produce venom ... she could have gone blind".

"They are still alive, they've been sent as specimens to another organisation and will be studied", said Dr Hong. They most often nest in the ground.

"This is the first time in Taiwan we've seen something like this", he added.

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