I’ve never been particularly scared of wasps or bees. My parents brought me up to keep still if one was around, so as not to upset it and to avoid getting stung. This seems to have been good advice because I’m now in my late 40s and I have only been stung once by a bee or a wasp. The occasion that I did get stung was a bit of a one off and I don’t really see it happening again. I was playing table tennis inside with bare feet on a hot summer’s day. We’d had the windows and the doors open and a bee must have got in. It was on the floor and I didn’t see it. I stepped on it and it stung me. It did hurt, but I could understand why it happened, so it didn’t change my attitude to bees and wasps.
My son has been brought up the same way and at 11 he has only been stung on one occasion too. Again it was a bit of a strange situation, so I don’t think it’s worried him either. He got stung a couple of times by one wasp when he was about 3. He was playing in a playhouse with some other kids and I think a wasp had got trapped in there. Unsurprisingly it felt under threat when in a confined space with 3 or 4 preschoolers – I mean who wouldn’t feel that way?
There have always been people who overreact to bees and wasps. I remember that happening occasionally when I was younger, but now it seems more common especially among younger people. I don’t want to be one of those people who say ‘back in my day’, but it does seem to be worse. There were kids jumping around and squealing in the park over the summer because some wasps were hanging out by the bin.