All statistical data is taken from the website www.insectstings.co.uk which is probably the leading website for insect sting related terms on the internet. The sheer volume of statistical data is therefore helpful when it comes to determining the level of insect stings activity in the environment and in particular the UK. However, there are inevitably limitations and some of these are indicated below:
Geographical Sample - we calculate that the for the year as a whole the site typically has 70% of visitors from the UK , 21% from North America, and the balance of 9% from approximately 85 other countries. Whilst the UK therefore dominates the results it is not the sole source of sting activity and we will be looking to some way of filtering non-UK results out of the system in the future.
Insect Sting Activity - not every searcher arrives on the website as a result of an insect sting - however the majority do and the top 15 terms all contain the term "sting" and account for 56% of traffic. In a typical year over 200,000 searchers arrive at the site using in excess of 5,000 different search terms but we would estimate that some 80-85% of searchers arrive at the site because of a sting incident. When there are comparatively few stings in January and February the traffic levels are some 3,000 per month - indicating a non-sting prompted visitor rate of about 18% for the year as a whole.
Underlying Web Activity - more and more people with web access means that each year more people will have access to the website and this would indicate that the site should see an underlying trend upwards in activity. In order to mitigate this to some degree we have rebased each year with January = 100 so that we can see trends within years as well as compare them meaningfully to other years.
Local Population - if there is a wasp nest or bee hive nearby then you have a higher chance of being stung so do not use this data as a predictor of sting risk in your locality. This site offers a UK wide sting risk measurement - an overall picture rather than a predictor for a limited area.