One of the most important pieces of clothing a beekeeper wears is the veil. Bee stings on the face can be very painful and there is the possibility of damage to the eyes and ears. If by chance a bee gets inside the veil, walk away from the hives and remove the bees. Never remove the veil when you are in with the hives.
Use protective clothing to avoid getting hive product on your regular clothes, and to protect sensitive areas of your body. Avoid dark or rough textured clothes. Bees are able to hold on to a rough texture material than smooth material. Wear white or light colored coveralls. If you are not using boots, do not wear dark socks. Boots that fasten over the coveralls or in the coveralls should be worn. A windbreaker jacket will help you to avoid being stung. Pants, veil, sleeves should be fasten securely to prevent bees from getting into your clothes. If a bee does get into your clothing, squeeze it in the clothing or walk away from the hives and open up your clothing to allow the bee to escape. Before handling bees, do not use any sweet smelling cologne, hair spray or any other products. The odor may irritate the bees or attract them. Gloves should be used sparingly. Gloves are useful during bad weather or when moving colonies, but gloves can hinder the manipulating of the colonies. Without the interference of gloves, you will find that the bees respond better to a lighter touch.
Hint: Using Latex disposable gloves makes it easier to work the bees and gives you a sense of security from stings. You can get 5mil thick white golves - I have never been stung through the glove. Make sure you get white or a light color. Dark colors seem to anger the bees more.
As a beginner you will want to contemplate the number of colonies you want to start out with. Two or three is a good number to start off with because it will give you a chance to compare the two colonies, such as the growth and the production.
The equipment you will need to start off with for a complete hive is:
You can buy this equipment new or used. If it is used you will want to make sure it is in good condition. Also have it examined by the Apiary Inspection Service for any possibility of disease. The equipment will run you $250 or more. If you are really talented and ambitious you can build your own hives. Just make sure you have the dimensions correct because bees will build combs where you least want them.