That Stings: Doctors Discover a Woman’s Eye Was Infested with Bees Living Off Her Tears Carrara Carrara / Carrara

Some doctors can say they’ve seen it all, but they shouldn’t get into a bragging contest with Hung Chi-ting, the head of ophthalmology at Taiwan’s Fooyin University Hospital. According to The Guardian, the physician was on call when a woman came in complaining of persistent eye pain and irritation. An examination revealed four tiny sweat bees living under her eyelid and drinking her tears.

At a press conference, the doctor described the moment of this horrific discovery, seeing the tiny insect legs of the sweat bees through a microscope. According to the patient, known as He, she had first experienced discomfort after tending to a family member’s gravesite and believed it to be irritation from soil. When her eye began to swell, she sought medical attention, which is when the bees were discovered lurking near her tear duct.

The bees, of the family Halictidae, are attracted to human perspiration and have been known to land on skin to drink up the salty solution. Hung Chi-ting said he believed a gust of wind may have caused the bees to become lodged in the woman’s eye, where they enjoyed a steady stream of tears. If the woman had delayed medical attention or rubbed her eye, he added, she might have provoked them into injecting her with venom and she would have likely lost vision. Both the patient and the bees are said to be doing well.

[h/t The Guardian]