Re: How often do you check production hives?
I think what just these few posts should point out to the OP is that commercial operations can operate in many different ways. From my perspective, once a nuc has "caught" a queen in the early spring and is up and running there isnt any reason to tear into it through the rest of the year. Through the summer and fall we only take the time to inspect a hive to do routine mite checks or if there is reason to suspect that there is some sort of problem. Hives that arent growing and producing need to be checked at the first sign something is amiss or else the next time through it may have turned into a box full of wax moth or shb but this should be a relatively small number. Our goals are to have all of our hives producing through the summer, if they appear normal upon opening them thats plenty good enough for me, any additional time spent browsing through them is just "burning daylight". I dare say I am not alone among commercials in this approach. All beekeepers dont operate in this manner as many have other goals that require a lot of manipulations through the course of a season. Losses? Sure we have a few, this year its looking like about 10% attrition from check backs through the end of the year which is a pretty typical number, some probably poor matings while others might be good smaller hives that were casualties of the disruption caused by bee moving. Perhaps a caveman could do it, perhaps not but the point being that through most of a season we inspect only if we feel its truly worth our time to seek out a problem.
"People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney