This is, I kid you not, the actual title of a paper published in the January 2009 issue of the Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society. I love it, because it sounds like it could just as easily be the fan-encyclopedia description of some minor creature from a Lovecraft story. The bees in question are workers from three species, Lisotrigona cacciae, L. furva and Pariotrigona klossi, and were studied--going about their tear-drinking business--in Thailand. From the paper...
...workers drank lachrymation (tears) from human eyes in more than 262 naturally-occurred cases at 10 sites in N and S Thailand during all months of the year. A few visits were also seen to eyes of zebu and dog, indicating a probable broad mammalian host range. On man the bees were relatively gentle visitors, mostly landing on the lower eyelashes from where they imbibed tears for 0.5-2.5 min, often singly but occasionally in congregations of 5-7 specimens per eye.
The authors think the bees have adapted to drink tears as a way to get some protein in their diet and may, possibly, drink tears in lieu of feeding on pollen at all. That's pretty nifty, if a bit creep-tastic.
Image shows a Thai bee, though I'm not sure if it's actually one of the species studied in this paper. From Flickr user travlinman43, via CC.
The Bank of England has unveiled its new £50 notes, which had been earmarked to honour a distinguished British scientist, and which will feature Alan Turing, the WWII hero who discovered many of the foundational insights to both modern computing and cryptography, and whose work with the codebreakers of Bletchley Park are widely believed to […]
The great science purge, they’ll call it one day. Donald Trump is closing science offices throughout the federal government. ‘As of June, around 85 percent of all scientific posts in the federal government, including an official scientific advisor to the President, were left unfilled,’ write the editors of I F***ing Love Science blog in an […]
Ed Hawkins, a climate scientist, created Show Your Stripes as a way to easily visualize the past century's climate change: give it a location and it will render a series of stripes representing a century's worth of average annual temperatures (above: global average temperature); as Kottke notes: "The warming patterns for particular regions are not […]
With the rising temperatures on tap this summer, the climate is going to be a frequent topic of conversation, and those conversations won’t be happy ones. Luckily, there’s a way to do a little climate change of your own – in a safe and sustainable way. When it comes to personal air conditioners, EvaPolar is […]
Whether you’re using them for next-level selfies or steady tracking shots, gimbals are a must for anyone who wants to maximize the potential of these powerful smartphone cameras we’re all carrying around. But those smartphones are also supposed to be portable, and let’s face it: Gimbals tend to offset that advantage. Weighing in at just […]
It’s too hot for yard sales, but hey: The internet is here for you. Here are the top ten deals on some of the Boing Boing Store’s best gear, just in time for summer. It’s everything from grills to security cameras to MacBook Pros, and they might be as low as they’re ever going to […]