These pictures show bees living inside a woman’s eye socket feasting on her tears and sweat in a world-first discovery by medics.
Pictures show the four 0.12-inch-long ‘sweat bees living inside the woman’s eyes in shots taken at Fooyin University Hospital in Taiwan’s southern county of Pingtung,
The patient named as Ms He, who is in her 20s, inadvertently became host to the bees while visiting a graveyard.
Professor Hung Chi-ting, the hospital’s head of ophthalmology is calling Ms He’s case a “world’s first” as the insects have never been found sipping tears inside a patient’s eye.
“They nest near graves and in fallen trees, so it’s easy to come across them while hiking in mountains,” Doctor Hung said.
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 said in 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 feeding in her left eye for four hours.
After taking herself to hospital, Doctor 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.
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.”
The insects were reportedly removed alive.
Sweat bees, which live over 1,000 metres (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. T4/AWR