So far I’ve been stung twice since taking up beekeeping this year (as has Wendy). The first time was very benign – just a brief burning that faded after a few minutes and no swelling at all. The second time was a little more dramatic: there was a fair bit of swelling that built up over 24 hours and took several days to subside. Fortunately no sign of any anaphylactic shock.
I think my body was sensitized by the first sting, leading to the reaction to the second. I hadn’t been stung by a bee in decades, so any prior sensitization must have worn off. On the bright side, our bees are not aggressive at all. Of course if you mess with their hive, ignore the warning fly-bys of the guard bees, and omit donning any protective clothing, then you really can’t complain about being stung. I’ll be a little less cavalier in future.