Stinging insects do not sting because they want to cause people pain. They sting because they want to defend their babies and families just as we do. If you leave them alone or do not intrude too near to their nest they usually will not harm you. In general, the larger their family to defend, the more painful their stings and the more they are likely to defend themselves. There are some exceptions to this generalization and the exceptions make interesting natural history to understand why. For more information visualizing the amount of pain different insects can cause, take a look at Atlas Obscura
. Jimmy Kimmel Live hosted a fascinating display
of stinging insects and discussion about them. Don’t forget to check out the educator Justin Schmidt’s book, The Sting of the Wild
, to learn more!