I think so much depends on the number of stings, the location, the person, etc. I had one reaction and I've been very cautious ever since. Got stung under my eye and ended up with hot red blotches all over my upper torso for about an hour after the incident. That was after I took benadryl. Seeing as how I had been stung on the hands and arms numerous times before, I wondered what the next sting would bring. Perhaps an even worse reaction? I took more precautions since then, going back to using gloves and slowing down even more. Since then, I've been stung on the arms or through the gloves without significant issues. But, I still don't know for sure what would happen if I took a sting to the face again.
To a lot of people, any swelling is a reaction. But since I'm not a doctor, I'm not sure that I would try to minimize the consequences of that swelling right after they were stung. I completely agree that people need to recognize that bees and humans have co-existed for a long time and that the danger presented to people by bees and other stinging insects could often be over-stated. They are "usually" docile and they do "generally" leave us alone (sometimes I like to imagine that the bees say exactly the same things about us!) Yes, people should expect mild swelling and pain. On the other hand, increasing swelling, pain and other symptoms demand a different response. For those people, I like to focus on the likelihood of being stung by yellowjackets and other stinging insects instead of just honeybees. I also like to focus on the difference between them.
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