Maybe you haven’t been keeping track, but inflation is all around us. Here are some examples or rising prices from my life:
Bee Supplies, Up 17.5 Percent
My beehives are doing well enough that I decided I should purchase a few more deep hive boxes in case I need to split the hives in late summer or early next year. I logged into my favorite supplier’s website and found that the prices were noticeably higher than when I made my last purchase in April. Here are some examples:
- Unassembled deep hive bodies increased 17 percent.
- Unassembled frames increased 37 percent.
- Foundation, which is plastic and does not use wood, was up only 3 percent.
- Telescoping lids went up 14 percent.
- Inner lids were up 20 percent.
- Bottom boards were up 14 percent
Average those figures together and you get an average price increase of 17.5 percent. That’s some serious inflation in just two months.
I was happy that I had purchased more frames and foundation had I needed on my last trip. Otherwise, I’d be paying about $100 for each beehive, and that’s before adding bees. I may not have that many hives, but as I look at growing from three hives to six or eight, I can’t help but think that the cost adds up pretty quickly.
Will their prices go back down when lumber prices drop? Time will tell, but I doubt it. As I have stated before, it will take a recession to drive prices down, and I don’t see a recession in our immediate future unless we get another outbreak of COVID-19 because of Delta or another new variant.
In the meantime, I will build migratory tops and use Reflectix double reflective insulation as the inner cover . Commercial beekeepers do this to save cost and to facilitate transport of their hives. This will save me close to $40 per hive. I will probably also move from integrated pest management screened bottom boards to solid bottom boards, which I can also construct myself. In my wood been are one-and-a-half sheets of ¾-inch plywood and several pieces of ½ inch plywood. I might as well put them to use.
T1-11 Plywood Siding
I checked the price of T1-11 siding the other day, which is what I used to clad the exterior of the chicken coop. The price had increased by more than a third at the same store. I needed about half a sheet to make the two doors on the coop match. Instead of buying a new sheet for just one piece, I decided it wasn’t that important. As a result, I have one door in which the lines run vertically and match the rest of the exterior, and one door in which the lines run horizontally. Oh well, the door still gets the job done.
Funny thing is lumber prices are reportedly dropping. YouTube is full of videos on falling prices and it’s been on NPR and in the Wall Street Journal. Someone should tell the big box stores. I haven’t seen lower prices at Home Depot or Lowes.
Gasoline, of Course
I remember buying gasoline for $1.89 per gallon last fall. When we used our “fuel points” from the grocery store, we save an additional 20 or 25 cents, which was a remarkable bargain.
Today, gasoline is $2.87, a 52 percent increase. bad news? No one expects it to end there. $3 per gallon is in the immediate future and the experts expect a continued increase as a barrel of oil has risen to almost $75 and shows no sign of slowing. A barrel of oil hit $108 in 2014 and $145 in 2008, showing there is more room to run.
I remember the first time filling up my gas tank cost more than $50. I’m not looking forward to a return to those days.
Our Food Bill us Up, Too
My wife does the shopping, so I don’t have the item-by-item specifics. She does complain that costs are rising, and this causes her to shop more carefully. We are both holding off on things we don’t need and waiting for sales.
Thankfully, some items we buy are holding steady. For example, chicken feed hasn’t gone up. Prices for the non-food consumables we buy at Sam’s Club are unchanged. My haircut remains less than $20. I feel there is an invisible “yet” at the end of each of these sentences. I believe those prices will eventually increase.
You want to know what is going to be really painful? When they use the latest real estate prices to reassess our home and raise our property taxes.