Anyone stung by a bee or wasp is likely to have a painful swelling where they were stung. This is not a sign of an allergic reaction and for most people, a sting is not dangerous.
Some people have an allergic reaction to the venom in the sting. This causes more swelling than usual but tends to be mild. Any swelling of greater than 10 cm is referred to as a large local reaction. For a small number of people, allergic reactions can be systemic which means they affect whole body systems, for example widespread swelling, a drop in blood pressure or breathing difficulties.
Systemic allergic reactions can be life-threatening. This is known as anaphylaxis. If you know you are at risk of a serious reaction, the idea of being stung can be frightening, but there are steps you can take to reduce the risks and help you feel more confident. This includes getting medical advice, carrying prescribed medication, and taking care to avoid being stung.