I certainly do understand that most who claim they are "deadly allergic" to bees are not...but that doesn't mean that some people aren't. It is ignorant and irresponsible for beekeepers to delude themselves to think that it doesn't happen (I heard one local bee instructor say that all severe reactions were from wasps and hornets, not honeybees).
I knew Peter Sitzman through much of my childhood...went to his bday parties, sang in the jr high chorus with him (I'll never forget his booming solo part on "John Henry"), etc.
Peter died of allergic reaction to honeybee stings....it does happen, and to pretend that it doesn't is foolish, ignorant, and irresponsible. This isn't to say that you need to carry an epipen, or that you should use it on someone for whom it isn't prescribed (an epipen should be used only if you are also calling an ambulance...it is not a cure for anything...it just buys you some time).http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F02E0DF133AF937A15754C0A9619C8B63
SITZMAN--Peter Jared , 38 of Sparta, New Jersey and previously of Lexington, Massachusetts died suddenly July 19, 2007 of a massive allergic reaction triggered by bee stings. He leaves his loving parents, Gloria and Dr. Steven Sitzman; brother Michael R. Sitzman; aunts and uncles: Dr. Matthew Gromet and Phyllis Schultz of Charlotte, North Carolina; Rosalind and Dr. Martin Stark of Reston, Virginia; and Leslie Sussman of Atlanta, Georgia. Pete was a favorite among his cousins: Melanie and Steven Glick and son Noah; Dan Gromet; Andrew Stark and Rebecca Gordon; AJ and Heather Sussman and son Andrew; and Nancy Effros and son Johnnie. Peter graduated from Williston North Hampton in 1987 and received his BA from the University of Rochester in 1991. He earned his MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia. Pete was a freelance high-end photo retoucher for the pharmaceutical industry. His ready smile, infectious laugh, and warm, loving manner will be sorely missed. Graveside ceremony and burial was held Sunday July 22nd at Mount Ararat Cemetery, East Farmingdale, New York. A memorial service will be held at Temple Isaiah, Lexington, Massachusetts at 1pm Tuesday July 24th. In lieu of flowers please make a donation in Peter's honor to an animal shelter of your choice.