This Woman's "Eye Infection" Was Actually Bees Living in Her Eye and Eating Tears

A Taiwanese woman visited a doctor complaining of an eye infection. It turns out it wasn't an infection at all, but bees.

Mustafa Gatollari - Author

Apr. 10 2019, Updated 10:11 a.m. ET

bees cover

A 29-year-old woman named He went to the Fooyin Hospital in Taiwan after experiencing some terrible pains in her eye. She thought it was an eye infection, but it wasn't. It was bees.

I feel like there's a cycle of terror that occurs with bees throughout one's life. When I was a kid, they were the scariest thing in the world and a real problem I often thought about. The thought of getting stung out of nowhere while I'm just trying to learn to ride my bike in the backyard was something that kept me up at night.

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But, after finally getting stung and realizing it isn't that bad, my fear subsided. That is until I learned about killer bees. Bees that could kill you with a poison sting?! I knew I was right to fear them in the first place. Then I learned they're not exactly as "killer" as their name implies, and they primarily lived in parts of the world I'd most likely never visit, so crisis averted.

Then I learned that one could develop allergies to bee stings later on in life and here I am, absolutely terrified with bees again.

This woman's revolting story doesn't help matters, either. When he walked into Fooyin Hospital, doctors initially thought her swollen eyelids were the symptoms of a gnarly infection.

As it turns out, however, there was no infection to speak of, but there was something gnarly going on: bees had lodged themselves into her eyes and started feeding on her tear ducts. I didn't even know they were capable of such a disgusting move.

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honey i shrunk the kids
Source: buena vista pictures

The CTS scan revealed the nasty reality of He's eye situation.

You might be asking yourself: just how in the world did He find herself in that situation? Was it some perverse form of insect eye play, akin to the infamous Richard Gere hamster legend, except with eyeballs instead of butts?

Actually, it's a lot more wholesome than that. He was attending the gravesite of a dearly departed family member.

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She visited the grave to clean it off and remove the weeds that had gathered around it when she noticed something got into her eye.

Dr. Hung Chi-Ting, head ophthalmologist at Fooyin, said these kind of "lodging bees" tend to live near fallen trees and gravesites. Hikers often come into contact with these nasty critters.

He had assumed the sharp pain in her eye she felt while cleaning the grave was a bit of dirt or sand. 

bees eye
Source: youtube | apple daily TW
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Dr. Hung talked about the delicate procedure in removing the bugs from He's eyes in a press conference. "I 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." I'm glad no bees were harmed during the procedure.

Asia One identified the insects in question as "sweat bees." Since I didn't know what they were before reading about this sordid story and you probably didn't either, here's the skinny. Apparently, there's a distinct species of bees that is attracted to human perspiration.

I would expect a monstrous insect like this to live in Australia, but Taiwan? Are they really known for scary bugs like this? It's horrifying.

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Dr. Hung said it was a good thing He didn't excessively rub her eyes when the bees were inside her eyeball, as it could have severely damage her eye and even induced blindness.

But before you start stressing over whether sweat bees are a problem you should worry about, pump your fear-brakes for a second.

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He's case of "eye bees" is the first of its kind in recorded medical history, so it's not exactly a common occurrence.

The Missouri Department of Conservation has also stated, while sweat bees will often land on human bodies that are perspiring to eat their sweat, it's very unlikely they'll get inside your eye. The species is also not aggressive.

That might sound fine and dandy, but it still doesn't change the fact someone ended up with bees in their eyes. Yikes.

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