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Taiwan Doctor Finds Bees Living In Woman's Eye
12 April 2019, 02:24 | Tara Lloyd
Doctors discover four live bees feeding on tears inside woman's eye
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.
Doctors examined her eye and discovered insect legs under her eyelid.
A Taiwanese woman identified only by her surname He was recently found to have four living sweat bees feeding from her tear ducts.
Hung Chi-ting, the head of the hospital's ophthalmology department, told reporters that when he peered closely at He's left eye, he "saw something that looked like insect legs, so I pulled them out under a microscope slowly, and one at a time without damaging their bodies".
He said she believed the bees got in her eye at a relative's gravesite the previous day.
She thought some soil had flown into her eye and tried to wash it out with water, but later that evening she felt a sharp stinging pain under her eyelid. The bees are also still alive, Hung told the BBC, and will now be studied. They come from a large family of bees known as Halictidae, and are most commonly found in Northern America. The bees are attracted to salt in human sweat and tears, doctors explained.
Reputedly non-aggressive, on the rare occasions their sting is used, the discomfort is said to be mild.
She was visiting the grave as part of the annual Chinese Qing Ming tomb-sweeping festival, which is traditionally observed by sprucing up loved ones' graves. "I was squatting down and pulling out weeds", the patient said at a press conference. He added that she came close to going blind. Fortunately, Ho did not rub her eyes, as that might have prompted them to sting, causing her to suffer huge damage, including blindness, said Hung.
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