Instead of treating what they thought was an eye infection, doctors at University Hospital in Taiwan found four bees embedded in the eye of a 29-year-old Taiwanese woman named He.
The bees were reportedly feeding on her tear ducts under her swollen eyelids, according to CTS News.
She had come to the hospital after experiencing severe pain in her eye.
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,” Hung said.
Good 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.
The sweat bees were reportedly removed alive.
He was discharged and is expected to make a full recovery.
Sweat bees are small and known for their metallic coloring, mostly in shades of green, blue, and bronze, according to Terminix. These bees are not typically aggressive and a sting usually only occurs if a bee is pressed against the skin.
There are more than 1,000 species of sweat bees in the U.S., Canada, and Central America.
Nearly 50 species are found in Florida alone.