TNB Night Owl – No Tears for Bees, Please

Iridescent green sweat bee (Halictidae) Photo by Jon Sullivan (PD

The Halictidae are a species of bee commonly referred to “sweat bees” for their attraction of perspiration and will produce a minor sting when disturbed.

According to Terminx pest control, San Francisco’s local KRON4 news reports, “sweat bees are small and known for their metallic coloring, mostly in shades of green, blue, and bronze.”

“There are more than 1000 species of sweat bees in the U.S., Canada, and Central America” with almost 50 of those species found in the state of Florida alone.

Why all the fuss about bees and tears?

Going to the hospital for what was thought to be an eye infection after experiencing severe pain and tearing turned out to be four sweat bees embedded in the eye of Taiwanese woman named He, that were, reportedly, feeding on He’s tear ducts under her swollen eyelids.

The hospital’s head of ophthalmology, Dr Hung Chi-ting said at a press conference that such bees nest near graves and in fallen trees, so chances of coming across them while hiking in the mountains are high, according to Apple Daily Taiwan. 

He confirmed she was at a family member’s grave pulling out weeds when she felt as if she got dirt into her eye and flushed it out with water. 

After that, He says she started experiencing a stinging pain and teary eyes. 

“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,” Dr. Hung said.

Good news though, Dr Hung Chi-ting was able to remove all the bees alive.

Even better news, “He did not rub her eyes too much, which officials say could have worsened the state of her inflamed cornea. Worst case scenario would have been blindness, according to Apple Daily Taiwan.”

He was discharged and is expected to make a full recovery.


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