This article is from the Children Allergies and Asthma FAQ, by Eileen Kupstas Soo email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
No, but being aware of the risks and dangers associated with the
condition and managing them appropriately can improve your peace of
mind when you do go outside. Understanding the insects themselves
can also go a long way toward minimizing risk and staying safe.
For example, it's useful to be able to recognize the various critters
that can make trouble. Bees feed their young honey and pollen and only
use their stingers defensively. This means that bees are not likely to
sting unless they believe that their hive is threatened (the more
aggressive Africanized "killer" bees are an exception to this). Wasps,
hornets, and yellow jackets, however, use their stings to kill their
prey, so they are likely to be more aggressive.
Some bee species are social (honeybees and bumblebees) and will sting
to defend their colony. Other species are solitary (carpenter, miner,
mason, and cuckoo) and are less likely to sting in defense of one
another. Also the solitary bees usually have milder stings than
the social species. Bumblebees are less vicious and less organized
than honeybees and nest in the ground.
Wasps can be categorized as social and solitary as well. Hornets,
yellow jackets, and paper wasps are all social and very protective
of their nests -- they represent the most common wasp threats to
humans. Although these insects are predators, feeding on other
insects, they are also attracted to nectars and overripe fruit.
For this reason, it is recommended that you avoid wearing strong
perfumes when you go outside in the summer. Dark clothing also
seems to attract and provoke all the stinging insects.
It is believed that only two kinds of ants cause allergic
reactions -- harvester ants and fire ants. Both are highly social
and organized, living in mounds in the ground which are usually not
too difficult to avoid.
One easy way to avoid all these insects is to spend your time outside
in the fall, winter and spring when they are not active. This may not
always be practical, but be aware that most stings occur in the summer.
Finally, if you have (or should have) an emergency sting kit, carry it
with you!! It won't help if it's in the house and you get stung
outside! Don't count on having enough time to get to it!!