Reports say a Taiwanese woman was found by doctors to have four sweat bees living inside her eye.
Ms He (28) says she was pulling weeds around her relatives’ graves, as part of the Chinese Qing Ming tombstone festival where traditionally people spruce up the graves of their loved ones, when the insects flew into her eye.
She says that at first, she thought it was dirt that was blown by a gust if wind, however there was still a bit of pain and irritation that made her to seek for medical assistance at a hospital in southern Taiwan.
She was attended to by Fooyin University Ophthalmology Professor, Dr Hong Chi Tong who was shocked when he pulled out four millimeter insects out of the eye by their legs.
“She couldn’t completely close her eyes. I looked into the gap with a microscope and saw something black that looked like an insect’s leg.
“I grabbed the leg and very slowly took one out, then I saw another one, and another and another. They are still alive and intact,” said Dr Hong.
Dr Hong added that the bees must have been blown into the eye by the wind and found themselves stuck inside.
“She was lucky she did not rub her eye. She was wearing contact lenses so she didn’t dare to rub her eyes in case she broke the lens.
“If she did she could have induced the bees to produce venom… she could have gone blind,” said Dr Hong.
Ms He has now been discharged and is expected to make a full recovery.
Sweat bees, also known as Halictidae, do not attack people, however, are attracted to sweat and sometimes land on people to imbibe perspiration.
According to a study by the Kansas Entomological Society, sweat bees also drink tears for their high protein content.