well at first I didn't use anything. When I got my first hive last fall I dropped part of the bottom off when we picked it up and left about half the bees without their stingers in my benefactors yard. That made me want to wear it. but I didn't have it, then with the reduced population through the winter I mainly just looked in the top a few times.so I still didn't have anything. Then I started really working with them, and got a jacket veil combo, that and the smoker were well worth the money then I got lazy about putting them on and had some pretty bad experiences. They have got progressively meaner the more I worked with them and they come out anytime they hear my tractor now so I am going to use smoker and jacket every time now. my swarm and nuc are gentle so I dont use anything with them as they both have small populations. It seems to me that when they have the population they are more agressive maybe but if stings help athritus I should be cured now. I went into my nuc yesterday and for the first time they came after me a bit I assume that the brood I gave them has emerged, because before they didn't even bother with me.