For some people, merely being in the presence of any type of bee is enough to ‘bug’ them out. But can you even imagine the turmoil that one of these folks might experience from having several bees living inside one of their eye sockets? This may sound like something inspired directly from a fictitious horror flick, but it actually transpired in real life.
Image Credit: Pixabay
According to a BBC report, a 28-year old woman from Taiwan was tidying up a loved one’s gravesite for an annual tomb-sweeping tradition that locals often participate in when a gust of wind instigated discomfort in one of her eyes. Believing it was just some sand that entered her eye during the gust, the woman used water to try and flush it out.
A few hours later, the condition only worsened, and the woman’s affected eye began to swell and tear uncontrollably. She was admitted to a local hospital where a doctor examined the eye under a microscope. It was then that the doctor noticed something peculiar: something that appeared to be an insect’s leg.
"She couldn't completely close her eyes. I looked into the gap with a microscope and saw something black that looked like an insect leg," explained Dr. Hong Chi Ting told the BBC in a statement. "I grabbed the leg and very slowly took one out, then I saw another one, and another and another. They were still intact and all alive."
A graphic video, embedded below, shows the bees in the woman’s left eye socket before being extracted (viewer discretion is advised):
As the doctor explained, four bees in total were removed from the woman’s eye socket, and they were all still alive. Upon being removed, they were identified as sweat bees, which have a particular taste for human sweat (which isn’t a big shocker, considering their name). It’s believed that the insects were stuck and that they were drinking the woman’s salty tears.
Each the extracted sweat bees from the woman's eye measured 4mm in length, but the human eye isn’t particularly large in and of itself. With that in mind, four 4mm insects wedged in between your eyeball and the soft tissue of your eye socket goes quite a long way in terms of discomfort.
Related: What's the buzz about the bees?
In any case, it’s a good thing that the woman sought medical attention. If the bees remained inside of her eye socket too much longer, then she would have run the risk of infection – or worse, permanent blindness in that eye. She is expected to make a full recovery following the procedure.