Ever heard the phrase, “In every woman, there’s a queen (bee)?”
Well, me neither. Until I needed something funny to start this off with.
If you don’t get the joke, let me break it down for you. The queen bee is the leader of a bee colony and the worker bees all bow down to her.
Maybe this is why those sweat bees were attracted to this lady.
If you have a fear of insects or close-ups of human organs, I suggest you turn away now.
A (bee)g disaster
He, a 29-year old Taiwanese lady, was tidying up her relative’s grave during the Chinese Qing Ming festival.
While pulling out weeds surrounding the grave, she felt a gust of wind and the sensation of something entering her eye.
She thought it was just dirt or any debris that the wind carried, and rinsed her eyes with water to clean it.
But that wasn’t the end.
At night, she felt a stinging sensation in her left eye and began tearing up. Finding something amiss, she decided to look for professional medical help.
An un(bee)livable sight
The head of ophthalmology from Fooyin University Hospital, Hung Chi-ting, saw something that appeared to look like insect legs from her left eye.
He then took a closer look at it through a microscope, and extracted four bees.
One by one, from her eye socket.
He told BBC that he was “shocked”, and had extracted the bees from her eye socket by pulling the 0.4mm insects out by their legs.
Her eye was badly swollen when she visited the doctor. “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,” Dr Hong said.
As for the bees?
They were still intact and alive.
Dr Hong said that she was lucky to not have rubbed her eyes as that might have induced the bees to produce venom. Suffice to say, you won’t want venom in your eyes.
As the victim was wearing contact lenses, she was too scared to rub her eyes anyways since she did not want them to break.
This is the first time in Taiwan (or the world for that matter) that anything like this has happened before.
Of course you’re now wondering, what in the world is a sweat bee?
Sweat bees, also known as Halictidae, are small in size. They range from 0.125 to 0.5 inches in length, which people do not notice very often since they’re that tiny.
They sometimes swarm in large groups but are usually not aggressive. These bees have short tongues which they use to lap up human sweat, and will only sting if the bee is pressed against your skin.
But worry not, because the sweat bees have the least painful sting of all stinging insects.
They drink human sweat because of the high protein content which they need to supplement their diets.
Sweat bees also can be found in Singapore. Although they feed on the sweat of humans, they also feed on pollen to pollinate flowers.
So don’t worry while you’re walking around drenched in sweat while gardening, these bees have another more important job to tend to.
Your sweat is just an extra course in its meal.