Have any of you ever noticed that the quality of the sting seems to vary with the time of year? I'm not talking about the bees personality or their propensity to sting, but the chemicals in the sting itself. Spring time stings hurt like the dickens. They swell over a large area and are poorly defined. Late summer and fall stings don't seem to hurt as much. And they swell up very differently. I'll get a much smaller very well defined welt from these stings. I wonder if it has to do with defending the hive from other bees and raiders like wasps, and having used up a lot of the venom. Perhaps their bodies produce the various chemicals in the venom at different rates and as a result the balance and content of the sting venom is different.