>I think my first one is about a start-up kit for my first hive. Does such a thing exist? Something with just the bare essentials.
All the suppliers have them. I would not buy any of them.
If you read this you'll see that hardly anything I WOULD buy is in a starter kit.http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnewbees.htm
Basically the starter kit is almost always deeps, and I would only buy mediums, ten frame and I would only buy eight frame, a standard hive tool, and I would only buy the Italian hive tool, a small smoker and I would only buy a large smoker, a veil with a hard hat, and I would buy a bug baffler for just a veil and a jacket with a zip on veil for most of the time, the foundation is the wrong size (5.4mm instead of 4.9mm) the feeder will be a boardman, which I won't use, the bottom board will be solid, and I'd probably buy a SBB, the top will be an inner cover and a telescopic cover, and I'd make my own top with a top entrance, the supers will be shallows and I'd buy mediums, long guantleted gloves, and I only wear regular leather gloves tucked into the sleeves so I can get them on and off easily...
The bee brush, I would buy.
But that's probably the ONLY item in a typical starter kit that I would buy. Everything else is not what I want.