An article at the Discover Magazine website describes how tiny sweat bees sit on the rim of human eyes and drink tears. According to the story, researchers used themselves as guinea pigs in order to study the bees as they lined up along their eyelids for a smoothie of sorts.
According to the article, the sweat bees use both tears and perspiration as sources of protein and salt. A quote taken from a Wall Street Journal article on sweat bees indicates that, “These bees prefer sweaty people—over most animals—because the human diet usually is so salty that their perspiration is saturated with the essential nutrient.”
Apparently these little bees rarely sting and they do not climb into your eye. Oftentimes the “host” human didn’t even know they were there. The article explains that the researchers also tested “meat, Ovaltine, cheese, and other foods but the bees preferred human tears.”
Check out the story. It’s interesting and the pictures are, well, kinda gross.