These are the most essential supplies for getting started with beekeeping. You'll find many websites offer starter kits which is also a great way to go. The biggest thing you need to decide is what type of hive you're going to use - the hive discussed here is a Langstroth hive, which is the most common kind of beehive in use in the US today. A top-bar hive is another option.
Photo © Flickr user Jessica Reeder
The hive is where your bees will live. It is made up of several components: the bottom board, hive body, frames, and foundation.
Photo © Flickr user Alloyous
A veil or hood, gloves, jacket and pants or one-piece bee suit are all part of the protection you may want to wear when working with the bees.
Photo © Flickr user blumenbiene
A smoker will calm the bees before you check on them or harvest honey. The hive tool or bee tool allows you to pry apart the frames. Sometimes bees need to be fed a sugar syrup solution.
Reading about how to take care of bees is a great winter activity so you can be ready for the honeybees in the spring. Plus, having beekeeping reference material can really help if you run into any trouble with your bees.
Learn about how to order bees and online ordering sources. Also check with your local beekeeping association.