Doctors in Taiwan found four bees embedded in a woman’s eye socket drinking her tears.
The patient named as Ms He, who is in her 20s, was pulling weeds with a relative when the insects got into her eye.
She went to Fooyin University Hospital in Taiwan’s southern county of Pingtung where doctors found the parasites feeding under her swollen eyelids.
Three of the tiny sweat bees can be seen under the microscope feeding from the woman’s tear duct after she was taken to the Fooyin University Hospital in Taiwan
Professor Hung Chi-ting checking Ms He’s eye after she was admitted to the hospital complaining of irritation in her eye
Ms He was left with cellulitis and keratitis – a bacterial infection – as a result of the insects feeding on her tears
Dr Hung Chi-ting, the hospital’s head of ophthalmology claims Ms He’s case is a ‘world’s first.’
‘They nest near graves and in fallen trees, so it’s easy to come across them while hiking in mountains,’ Dr Hung said.
One of the little sweat bees is exposed under the microscope as it feasts on Ms He’s eye
Ms He, who is from the south-western port city of Kaohsiung, recalled: ‘We were visiting and tidying a relative’s grave, and I was squatted down pulling out weeds.
‘I felt wind blowing into my face, then I felt something in my eye which I thought was sand or dirt.
‘I cleaned my eye using water but it started hurting a lot at night, a sharp pain, and I was tearing up.’
Dr Hung told a press conference that Ms He suffered cellulitis and keratitis – a bacterial skin infection and the inflammation of the cornea – as a result of the bees eating from her eye for four hours.
After taking herself to hospital, Dr Hung inspected her eye and discovered the small insects, which are part of the family Halictidae, but whose exact species has yet to be confirmed.
Dr Hung said: ‘I saw something that appeared to be insect legs, so I pulled them out under a microscope one at a time without damaging their bodies.
‘They were four sweat bees.’
Ms He had been helping a relative pull weeds around a grave site when she felt a rush of wind into her and thought that dirt had got in, but it was actually bees
Ms He’s inflamed cornea after the parasites were removed by the doctor
The insects were reportedly removed alive.
Sweat bees, which live over 3,280 feet above sea level, are known to be attracted to perspiration and treat humans like a salt lick.
Ms He was discharged from hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.