Reader bee-ware, you’re in for a scare! While we’re all familiar with the iconic image of a woman with spiders crawling out of a pimple in her face from Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, an account of a similar, real life insect infection will make your skin crawl.
A Taiwanese woman named He was recently admitted to the University Hospital in Taiwan for what she thought was an eye infection. However, doctors soon realized that He had four bees in her eyes, which were “feeding on her tears,” according to KRON. The bees were causing irritation, swollen eyelids, intense eye pain, and teary eyes, leading He to seek medical treatment. Per CNN, He claimed, “It was very painful. Tears wouldn’t stop coming out of my eye…I was scared to death.” After careful examination, doctors discovered insect legs in He’s eyes, which is how the bodies of the bees themselves were located. As for how the bees got in He’s eyes in the first place, He described an encounter she had at a family member’s grave, where she was pulling out weeds and caring for the site. He stated she felt dirt or debris in her eye, and flushed her eyes with water. Dr. Hung Chi-Ting, the University Hospital’s head of ophthalmology, explained that bees build nests in forests and grave sites, so the team deduced this as the cause for He’s trouble.
The insects were identified as “sweat bees,” which are smaller and less likely to sting. They appear metallic in coloring and can be found all over the world, and unsurprisingly, Florida is home to over 50 species of sweat bees. As if 2019 could get any scarier, now we have to be on the lookout for sweat bees which feed on people’s tears. Seems appropriate, if you ask us.
Featured Image: Paramount Pictures