June 29th, 2019| Topic: RaMbLeS | 0


A strange thing happened in a clinic in Taiwan a few months ago.

A 28-year-old patient, Ms. He, had been uprooting weeds around her relatives’ graves, as part of the annual Qingming Tomb-Sweeping Festival (which has been observed by the Chinese for over 2,500 years), when folks clean up loved one’s tombs and make ritual offerings of traditional foods and burn joss sticks. That was in early April this year.

Engaged in her act of devotion to her ancestors, Ms. He felt a gust of wind in her eyes, and some stinging. She assumed it was dust.

She washed out her eyes with water, but couldn’t get rid of the irritant. Hours later, her eyes were badly swollen and the poor lady was in agony.

It was very painful. Tears wouldn’t stop coming out of my eye. I was scared to death.”

After three hours of agony, Ms. He sought help in a hospital in southern Taiwan.

Reported Dr. Hong Chi Ting, ophthalmology professor at Fooyin University Hospital, in Kaohsiung, to the BBC:

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 in her left eye.”

It was a bee!

And not just one, said Hong:

I grabbed the leg and very slowly took one out, then I saw another one, and another and another. They were still intact and all alive. I was shocked!”

Not a surprising reaction, I would guess.

Yup, four small sweat bees had made their dwelling inside Ms. He’s eye. The physicians diagnosed cellulitis, a bacterial skin infection, and severe corneal erosion caused by the critters. The patient’s eyesight had been reduced to 20-200.

Added Hong:

Luckily, she didn’t have a high fever and the infection hadn’t affected her central nervous system.”

“Sweat bees” belong to the family Halictidae, the second-largest family of bees, after honey bees. Each of those beasties are about 3–4 mm in size. They are named after the fact that these insects appear to be attracted to human perspiration. Though these things sting, they do so only if disturbed, and their sting is considered relatively minor.

Hong again:

These bees don’t usually attack people but they like drinking sweat, hence their name.”

And they also have a predilection for human tears, it seems.

Added Hong:

Ms. He was lucky she didn’t rub her eyes while the bees were inside—she was afraid she’d break one her contacts. The bees could have stung her inside the eye. She could’ve gone blind. Thankfully she came to the hospital early. If the infection had worsened, we might have had to remove her eyeball to save her life.”


But, fortunately, there were no consequences. The good lady was discharged and made a full recovery.

And the bees?

Said Hong:

Oh, they are still alive—they’ve been sent as specimens to another organization and will be studied. This is the first time in Taiwan we’ve seen something like this.”

Jesus was right:

“The eye is the lamp of the body;
so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light.
But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.”
Matthew 6:22–23

So one must be careful what one sets one’s eyes upon.

I will set no worthless thing before my eyes.
Psalm 101:3

May God help us see!

Open my eyes, that I may behold
Wonderful things from Your law.
Psalm 119:18

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