As a new beekeeper, your primary goal for the 1st year is to build the population of your hives up to prepare & survive winter. You will most likely not get a honey crop your first year & should leave any honey the bees produce for their winter feed.
Therefore, you do not need to buy honey supers or queen excluders your 1st year. If you have extra money you can purchase two honey supers & an excluder for each hive. I repeat only TWO supers per hive. Even our over-wintered, established hives only take two supers during a honey season. Maybe three supers during a good year. You do not need & will never need five honey supers per hive.
If your hive is strong enough in the summer, you can place a honey super on so they might draw the comb out for next year. Feeding them sugar water helps when you want them to draw out comb. However, producing wax is stressful & taxing on bees, so try not to overwork them.
Only place one box on at a time & wait until they draw the frames out before placing another super on. This method is also advisable for undrawn brood boxes. If you place all the undrawn boxes on at one time, they will rob the wax to cap brood. Most of the time they will not go back & fix the wax/comb that they robbed.
Also, when placing a bunch of boxes on at one time, creates safe havens for wax moths and small hive beetles. Bees can better police & regulate more confined spaces.
Woodenware Needed for One Hive Set-up:
- Metal Telescoping Roof
- Inner Cover (use during fall - winter)
- Top Screen (use during spring - summer)
- Brood Boxes (story & ½: deep & medium box, triple mediums: 3 medium boxes, double deeps: 2 deep boxes)
- Screened Bottom Board
- Hive Top Feeder
- 2 honey supers
- 1 queen excluder
Beekeeping can be an expensive hobby. Don't buy more equipment than you will need. You can always purchase additional equipment later if necessary.