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Discussion Starter #1
I'm still not through my first year but did have a lot of fun with my first two hives this year. They're heavy, well populated and gave us a lot of honey this year and gave me a lot of quality time (and arguments) with my daughter/partner. As I think many of here know, soft wood prices skyrocket late last summer between a building boom and COVID home bound DIY. Prices in August were around $850 mbf ( from under $400 earlier this year) but this week it's already down to $549 and project to continue to drop. The reason I'm writing this is because I was planning on buy more boxes and frames, possibly a pallet of deeps and a pallet of mediums but am looking at the prices at Mann Lake today which have gone up quite a bit since the 2020 catalog I have on my desk from last year. I see the same thing with other woodenware and being an new bee, don't have any historical data from other suppliers. I'm looking at roughly 50 deeps and 65 mediums (pre-built with wood/plastic frames) on their bulk buy of pallet load. Are the rest of the suppliers like this too?
I am also planning on building an addition on my house this winter (finally after 20 years of promising my wife) and pressure treated and framing lumber has also sky rocketed. I'm thinking about delaying (again) the purchases of both until after the first of the year as wood prices are expected to continue to drop but there is a point I have to get this done to get bees and keep momma happy before the first flow. Anyone else seeing prices on wood and wooden ware jumping?
 

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The sales around Black Friday and March madness are often worth waiting for. My money is on March this time around.
 

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Yep i ordered 50 select mediums right after i sold a good chunk of spring honey at farmers markets and am glad i did. I saved around $225 vs current prices. Prices for sheet goods are also way up right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yep i ordered 50 select mediums right after i sold a good chunk of spring honey at farmers markets and am glad i did. I saved around $225 vs current prices. Prices for sheet goods are also way up right now.
That's what I'm worried about, even though I'm a hobbyist, I'm considering expanding my apiary to 12-15 more hives (No Mr. JW Palmer, please don't call me ScobyToo-yet ;-) to put on a piece of land i have to keep an Ag Real Estate Tax Exemption. NJ has ridiculous land taxes and since I hit 60 last month, I'm putting in my papers, learning all about that senior saver stuff. The wood prices really hit pressure treated lumber and I was planning on building stands from PT. The $20's worth of lumber I used to build my triple hive 'bench' stand last spring is now almost $60, then times 4 or 5! I currently have double deeps with medium supers and assuming a standard Lang configuration, that's 30 of each plus bases, covers and frames. And I'm not forgetting extra woodenware, learned that earlier this year during the summer flow here when I had to scramble to find a couple more supers quickly. With the house addition, I can use the excuse about the lumber prices and push back into the summer-new bees have a deadline in spring to get hives established. I guess I'm starting to sound like my Dad who grew up during the Great Depression and that nickel a loaf bread thing he always talked about...
 

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There is little argument about the benefits of standardization for the majority of your equipment but for simply making a home to raise bees almost any sort of box and frame contrivance will work. It would be easy to shake or encourage such bees to join up and add numbers to your production hives or to populate standard dimension mating nucs.

With just a bit more finesse, functional frames could be made which would fit in standard boxes. Simple butt and lap joints with glue and nails would not require anything more than a Skil saw and a hammer.

Have one team for the road and show and your second string "farm team" that you can play with frozen horth thit for hockey pucks!
 

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Agree with LJ.
Pallets,shipping crates,old furniture by the side of the road.
I regularly check the cull bin at Lowes and Home Depot.
If you are near an industrial area,check the loading docks around lunch time when guys are on a smoke break.Don't touch anything without asking.Many reuse but some have to pay to get rid of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Michael-
Have you checked the price lately? Lumber is like oil, a traded commodity and the COBE prices pretty much sets prices across North America. I have a house in midcoast Maine and can remember buy 2 x 4 x 10 for .30 cents a piece at Bath Lumber's mill. Lumber was under $400/ mbf in March, it's now just settling down at around $550 /mbf on Friday.

I've been been pricing knock downs and assembled Lang's by the pallet, the price once you add in the frames is pretty close, maybe close enough to justify assembled. The pickup can carry two pallets and i do have a dually car trailer. Time has value and even not working, I have a lot to do. I guess I juts like last years price better than this year. 2020, the year all future time traveler will avoid.
 

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I just saw my Amish wooden ware maker. His price on frames are going up the first of the year. From $75 to $80 per hundred frames.
 

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If it is the same as I know, he even gets the lumber from the family farm. One brother does the lumber, one does the dipping and he makes the product.
 

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We have a new Christmas Tree, fruit tree, honey, multi purpose barn that we are completing now. Lets just say that my cost estimates in March are nowhere close to retail prices now on dimensional lumber. Prices on dimensional construction lumber have pretty well doubled since spring. We will hold off on some projects until spring with hopes that prices will go down some.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Scooby2? I think Scooby is still somewhat shy of his 10,000 hives goal. I am the same age as you and would gladly go up to 50 hives if I were retired. Twenty production hives is all I can manage now working a full time job and having my own appliance repair side business. I have already made most everything I need for my current level, but I am always looking for free lumber for "later".
 

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Fortunately, I'm near a saw mill that specializes in pine. I buy by the unit...1500-2000 bdft. Last I bought was $0.85 for 1x12 standard grade. Kiln dried planed 4 sides.
KD at .85 a bd ft is "darn good" cost!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Scooby2? I think Scooby is still somewhat shy of his 10,000 hives goal. I am the same age as you and would gladly go up to 50 hives if I were retired. Twenty production hives is all I can manage now working a full time job and having my own appliance repair side business. I have already made most everything I need for my current level, but I am always looking for free lumber for "later".
I had to bring Scoby up after reading his posts a few months back, I just couldn't look away, all 5 pages! It was like a slow moving train wreck! Did he ever make a 100 hives? My plan to start with a dozen new nuc's to do a quicker start (land tax Ag exemption) and do some splits over he summer and build up to 20-30 hives. Momma's going to retire in a few years and wants to do the farmers market stuff with honey and some other stuff. She younger than me so she's (we are) kind of stuck. She's politically a right wing kook but is still a bit of deadhead crunchy type with organics. Too many Dead concerts in college I guess.

I'm in the same place as Husker Bee, my plan was, along with the home addition, to build a 50' x 30' barn on this land. It's 2 adjoining hay field, totaling 14+ acres that I currently lease for "organic" hay to a horse person. I was planning on buy a used farm tractor and some attachments but if I go ahead with the barn, the money difference is I'll have to use up is my tractor money due to the increases-slightly more than twice the lumber price from last year! I'm going to do some consulting work for some northeast civil contractors part time so I'll still have enough income, but the time/work level is on my terms. At least, after 40 years in heavy construction, I can borrow dozers and excavators to build a small road and dig the foundations for the cost of fuel.

I did read something that may get me to just bite the bullet and move ahead. The story was that regardless of who wins the election next month, there's going to a lot of stimulus money for infrastructure. It pointed out that both manpower and materials might be at a premium.
 
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