A campaign is raising awareness of potentially fatal bee and wasp sting anaphylaxis.

The Bee Resistant campaign, now in its fourth year, partners with national charity, the Anaphylaxis Campaign, runs from the start of the bee season in May through to wasp season in September.

This is the first year that the campaign has appointed an ambassador.

Chris Beardshaw, star of this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show and first ambassador for the Bee Resistant campaign, said: "For a very small minority of people, a sting from a bee or wasp can have serious consequences, and can even be life-threatening, due to a condition call venom anaphylaxis arising from an allergic reaction to insect stings.

"That's why this season I've joined forces with the Bee Resistant campaign to help raise awareness and to make sure we can all stay safe when we are in the garden."

For some people, an allergy to the venom in a bee or wasp sting can cause a severe reaction, leading to anaphylaxis which can be fatal.

In the UK, insect stings are the second most frequent case of anaphylaxis outside medical settings, with wasp and bee stings causing nearly three quarters of anaphylaxis deaths between 1992 and 2001 outside of hospitals.

The Bee Resistant campaign aims to spread the word about venom anaphylaxis and provides information on the symptoms to look out for.

These include:

  • Feeling unwell and dizzy

  • Rapidly spreading rash

  • Wheezing and a tight chest

  • Swelling of the airways and throat

  • Weakness (caused by a drop in blood pressure)

  • Physical collapse

Speaking for the Anaphylaxis Campaign, CEO Lynne Regent, said: "We want to raise awareness, so people know about the risks and what to do to help reduce these.

"If you experience a severe reaction to a bee or wasp sting, it's important that you are taken to A&E and afterwards visit your GP as soon as possible to discuss treatment options.

"These can include adrenaline auto-injectors and specialist treatments that are available from allergy clinics which may be appropriate in some cases."

If you are at risk of insect venom anaphylaxis and would like more information, you can call the Anaphylaxis Campaign's national helpline on 01252 542029, or visit their website anaphylaxis.org.uk