Before an answer, you need some facts to see
Imagine your apiary during winter. Snow or very wet and cold.
How are bees going? Is there still plenty food? Questions, questions, questions…
Well, you can get your coat and quickly get there. Try to heft to see if there is enough weight and to hear their angry noise. Yes, you can do that, but it will cost you time, and your bees extra energy when disturbed.
There is another option. The electronic scale. Connected via cloud with your mobile/computer so you can get information on demand without any of those troubles.
Ok, let go forward. Now, it’s Spring or Summer. Beekeeping best time of year.
You are making inspection of your hive every week or so. Bees are happy and flying extensively. So, do you need scale for this time? I would say, yes. For many extra benefits you won’t get without that device. Below I stated a few, most obvious ones:
First at all nectar-flow observation. You will see clearly when your hive brings some or maybe a lot of nectar but also you will be able to observe when by any reason bees are struggling and there is need to supply extra food.
In some countries, there are nectar flow gaps in the middle of season where there aren’t enough flowers around and beekeeper must be extra careful to react in time especially after taking honey. In 2022, June gap in England started around 2 weeks earlier than usual and was also longer which made quite a surprise for many beekeepers.
By the way, when graph line flatten that could also be an indicator that hive is perhaps full, and some extra space is needed.
Even the best managed hive will finally decide to swarm. It’s just a nature.
The biggest problem is not a swarm itself but to find it just in time. Based on Murphy’s law (“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong, and at the worst possible time.”) and on our own experience, we know, that most swarms happen when we are not around. Sometimes it is also hard to notice swarm happened and which hive decided to make it because after a several minutes all is calm around.
So, yes, for modern beekeeping it is essential tool making your life much easier.