I usually do not go into a hive other than to see how full the supers are or I am trying to do something like make queens. I watch the entrances, the oil pans and look in the top, I use Screen Top Boards, to see what is going on. I will check on swarms to make sure the q is in there. If one hive is not bringing in pollen when all others are I will go through it and usually there is a problem. Sometimes find Q cells only. I mark it and don't check it again for 3 weeks. Spend some time watching your bees and they will teach you what is normal and then you will know when you have a problem. If they are constantly pulling out young bees with defective wing problems, then you probably have a mite problem. If the bees are coming and going in large numbers and you have lots of drones, then the hive is probably in good shame. You can open the lid with out bothering the bees, just open it away from you.