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I've been keeping bees for 8 years now. As a noob I was tearing the hive down, looking for the queen, looking for evidence of varroa, hive beetles, etc. The last couple years I haven't completely torn down my hives. I do PM like oxalic acid once a year and of course feed in spring and fall. I crack open the inner cover and see what's happening but that's about it.

So many posts talk about how you need to get into the hive and see what's going on, but it seems to me that I can see what I need from activity at the entrance and cracking open the inner cover, looking, smelling, observing. I don't seem to have any more or less loss than the average beekeeper, so is there a reason I should tear the hive apart, do the powdered sugar test for varroa, etc?

Love this website BTW. This is such a specialized hobby (or profession for some) that it's nice to have a place to bounce questions off of others. Happy 4th to the American users!
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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Professional skills of a beekeeper can be measured in long term average working hours per hive (in relation to honeycrop).
Somewhat concur with Juhani, If you can sucede with less time per hive I think that is fine, I like to smell the hive before I smoke them, I can tell if that have brood by the smell. In a tree the bees never get tore down. They do not need the keeper the keeper needs the bees. I think some people like to micro manage lots of parts to their lives and it just transfers to the bees. If they are surviving and have enough space and you get the crop you need then for you it is working. it is about what do you want to do with your time.
GG
 

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Although I don’t fully tear them down, I do regular inspections. Mainly, I look to be sure that there is worker brood, a healthy pattern and adequate stores. If I depended on the entrance for cues by the time it was visible there, the colony would already be in a full state of collapse. In this part of the country one of those visible cues would be small hive beetle slime.
We each have our own ways.
 

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Professional skills of a beekeeper can be measured in long term average working hours per hive (in relation to honeycrop).
Somewhat concur with Juhani, If you can sucede with less time per hive I think that is fine, I like to smell the hive before I smoke them, I can tell if that have brood by the smell. In a tree the bees never get tore down. They do not need the keeper the keeper needs the bees. I think some people like to micro manage lots of parts to their lives and it just transfers to the bees. If they are surviving and have enough space and you get the crop you need then for you it is working. it is about what do you want to do with your time.
GG
Could you describe the smell of a queen right colony? That is a skill I would like to acquire. Thanks
 
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