The toxin is different from bee venom, so the reactions are different. Bees are the ones with the track record of fatal allergic reactions. And the severe reactions come on the second sting; the first generates antibodies that then 'overreact' on the second, like hay fever. The good news: revenge comes with the sting. The stinger is left behind by the bee, which dies. The others can sting more than once each and are considered more painful.
Most such critters are active pollinators, so they're useful.
A syndicated columnist recently wrote that the paper wasps leave folks alone once they get used to them. He said a nest at his house was feeding on some cat food he had left out, and behaved almost like pets: they 'looked forward' to his visits to the shed, but would threaten strangers. I monitored the behavior of a nest in my shed, and I believe he's right.
In any case, only yellow jackets seem to attack w/o being threatened; very territorial and aggressive, like Africanized ("killer") bees.
While the discussion of honeybees got me thinking, there simply isn't a shortage of hornets around here. Called them hornets, wasps, yellow jackets, etc., they come every yr. to annoy me. While, I have come accustomed to their presence I often enough ignore them unless they buzz me and I give attention, well this yr. they got me(one did). Every so often it happens, Ouch, then I recall working or walking by a nest. I have all types around here either a small comb, mud-blubbers, grd. hole, or basketball sized paper nests somewhere in the woods or deck or home. For the most part, they are small combs that nestle under overhangs or where ever it seems they get some weather protection. The barn itself has at 4-6 nests and being above 20ft. the spray may not always reach them and I have to shoot straight-up at times. I think I'm immune to the string other than the stinger. Oh yeah, my aches and pains go away too. hehe, sure it does. -----Willy