I've read a lot of bee books that talk about having to have a state inspector come and look at your hives every so often. Is this applicable in Indiana? Or anywhere else for that matter?
No...the state of Indiana does not require state inspection.
Alot of states cut funding in past years. And some states do not have the agriculture support or need for a state wide bee program. Some states had programs that bordered on a police-state mentality and lost the support of the beekeepeing community. Inspectors should be there to educate and help solve problems, not be dictators and unwelcome intruders into the apiaries.
In Pennsylvania, registration is required. Inspections are prioritized as to commercial, those having past problems(AFB), those never inspected, those who request assistance or an inspection, and finally everybody else. This last group(everybody else), inspections are hoped to be about every two years. But time is always a question. You can only do so much.
Some inspectors permit beekeepers to ride along for a day. This is a great way to meet other beekeepers and learn. I have always learned something everytime an inspector has been to my operation.
TN does not have a bee program any more. Funding was cut once the number of beekeeper got so low(the mites got rid of alot of bee havers and many beekeepers). Our county Ag officers are supose to have a list of all beekeepers and there bee yard/s locations but the officer said he does not have time or space to keep these files so he only wants those of us that pick up swarms on a call list.
In NC beekeepers can register if they wish, but don't have to (I'm not sure about commercial beekeepers). The state inspector will come inspect your bees if you ask. Ours is a particularly friendly fellow. He's very busy, covers a quarter of the state, but when you have a queston would rather come see your bees in the hive than receive a "sample bee" in the mail.