Good story. I'm an inspector in my country and see a lot of peoples hives, it is not unusual for new beekeepers to put hives where they think would be a good place for the bees, but they have not yet learned that you need good access for comfortably working them also.NO ACCESS TO EXAMINE THE HIVES!
About the most difficult i have ever come across was 2 hives placed on 2 tree stumps. The stumps had been left around 8 or 9 feet tall and a hive put on top of each one. The stumps were around 2 feet in diameter, there was just nothing at all to stand on, and even clambering up the trunk was no good because once up to the hives there was nothing to hang on to other than the hive which would have toppled. I was able to inspect them by throwing a rope from the truck over a branch of a nearby tree and then kind of winching myself up with that, but it took every muscle in my body to do it plus get a few frames out to check while hanging onto the rope.
99% certain those hives will be moved next time i go there once the guy has discovered what a crazy place he chose to put them.