Re: How often should we be opening the hive?
Since you asked, There are varying suggestions you will find in the many books and postings out there.
Most will likely suggest one shouldn't go through a 'full' inspection more than once a week, others might suggest not more than once every couple weeks and others will go so far as to say that a 'full, comb by comb inspection is only warranted twice a year with lesser inspections that involve more entrance observations and quick checks under the lid sparingly so as to least disturb the hive scent and activity.
There's a lot one can learn from just watching the entrance. of course, that said, there's a lot to be learned from opening the hive.
You have to develop a schedule that works best for you and the bees in your yard.
My own thinking is that each hive and bee yard has it's own 'personality' in terms of what i twill and will not tolerate.
No, I am NOT a bee "Keeper". Anything I post is just my opinion. Take it easy and think for yourself.