There are a few handy tools to have when you start beekeeping. Here's our list in order of importance:
1. Protective clothing. The less afraid of being stung you are, the more comfortable you'll be with the bees. We didn't use any of it during the installation, but once those bees are at home in a hive, they'll defend it. You don't want any surprises.
2. A good smoker. Don't skimp.
3. A good hive tool for prying the top off and loosening the frames out of the supers. Bees glue everything together and seal things up with propolis, which is a glue they make out of tree sap. It works. You need a strong, thin prybar of some sort to get things apart.
4. A brush. A nice, soft synthetic one. Don't use a natural bristle brush made out of animal products. Bees hate those. The brush will help you get all the bees off the frames so they don't accidentally get squished.
5. A frame support. These hang off the side of the hive when you're working a hive, so you can take frames out of the supers and place them in the support and not on the ground. This is very handy, but a clean plastic tub might work just as well.
6. A feeder. There are loads of ways to feed your bees. These are handy, but not necessary.