Tiny bees found in woman's eye were feeding off her tears

Tiny bees found in woman's eye were feeding off her tears

A woman was shocked to discover that a group of bees were living inside her eye - and feeding off of her tears.

The 29-year-old woman, named only by her surname He, said she had been weeding near a family member's grave when she felt something - she assumed a fleck of dirt - go into her eye. He managed to pull them out one by one without damaging their bodies, reported The Guardian. Hung Chi-ting said at a press conference, according to Business Insider Singapore. Presuming it was soil, He washed her eye out with water, but later that evening her eye began to swell up and she felt a sharp pain under her eyelid.

They were sweat bees, also known as Halictidae, according to the BBC. A sting usually only occurs if one of the bees is pressed against the skin. She immediately sought medical help follwing her heavily swollen eye.

According to Business Insider, had He rubbed her eyes more excessively, it would have worsened the condition of her eye and potentially blinded her.

A study this month from the Kansas Entomological Society found that sweat bees also look to tears as a protein source.

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"It was a very intense stinging pain and I was constantly shedding tears, there was a lot of secretion", He told reporters at a local news conference on Wednesday.

"She was wearing contact lenses so she didn't dare to rub her eyes in case she broke the lens", the doctor said.

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.

A sweat bee gathers pollen from a flower in Davis, California in this 2010 photo. Fortunately, the woman recovered 80% of her vision after being hospitalised for five days.

Each bee was extracted alive and was sent to another organization to be studied. "This is the first time in Taiwan we've seen something like this".

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