Q. What do I need to get started?

A. Here is some of the basic equipment a beekeeper might need to begin beekeeping,
along with their approximate cost.
Beekeepers hear some of the same questions each year from "newbees"
wanting to give beekeeping a try.  
The information below addresses some of those questions.
First of all it is a really good idea to read everything you can get your hands on about beekeeping,
keeping in mind
that most books on beekeeping are methods used in the lower 48
those differences are discussed at length at the Beginner Beekeepers Class in the spring.

These are a few recommended books, with more listed on the
Books About Bees page.
The Beekeepers Handbook
4th edition
by: Dana Sammataro
and Alphonse Avitabile

Guide to Bees and Honey
by: Ted Hooper
A basic hive usually consists of the
following, You do your own assembling
and painting.

Wooden telescoping cover
2 medium supers
2 deep supers
Frames & Foundation
Inner cover
Bottom Board

approx cost for assembled: $316.00
approx cost for unassembled: $266.00
In addition you may need some or all of the following tools
<------ Telescoping cover
<------ Inner cover (not visible)
<------ Medium Supers
<------ Deep Supers
<------ Bottom Board
which may or may not look like this one  
<----- Each super
will contain 10
frames with
foundation for the
bees to build the
comb on
<------ Smoker
approx cost: $45
<------ Hive tool
approx cost: $6
Queen Excluder
approx cost:
plastic: $7
metal: $17

approx cost: $24

(Coveralls optional
price varies)
<------ Bee Brush
approx cost: $6

approx cost:
Helmet: $18

Then there is the cost of bees...which is in addition to the equipment and tools.
This price will depend on which type of bees you order, and which supplier you order them with.

A package of bees with a queen is:
Approximately $170

There are many variables:
Used equipment, if it is available.  
But it is not recommended you purchase used equipment unless you                                         
have an experienced beekeeper inspect it for disease, etc.
Use your own gloves and hat, a mosquito net for a veil.
You could build your own equipment (all or part).   Link
: www.beesource.com/plans/index.htm
You could use another type of tool for a hive tool.
You could use a paint suit instead of beekeepers coveralls, or just tape up all openings on clothing.
You could use rolled up newspaper or a handful of green grass  for a bee brush.
Just a few suggestions if you are wanting to cut costs.  
<------ Frame
with        
Foundation
Copyright © SABA 2007 - All rights reserved
Southcentral Alaska Beekeepers Association

approx cost:
Veil $17
Our local suppliers and SABA Members are:  Steve Victors:   www.stevesbees.com
                                                                 and Jack Anderson: www.alaskabeewrangler.com
The Complete Guide to
Beekeeping
by: Roger A Morse

The Prairie Beekeeping Manual
by: Dorothy Murrell
and Donald N. MacDonald