Yes, it's better that way.
My uncle has twenty colonies currently, but he use to have so many that the entire mountain top in Appalachian country of TN where he lived.
In most cases bees take care of themselves as long as a water supply is close as in the summer months they need water quite regularly. If no water source is close by they will move to find one (exact distance they need to be near water I don't know) they of course travel for food.
Usually a few hives are left alone entirely.
When a hive is messed with too much they have to up production to catch up on their food sources to maintain their current numbers. This is incredibly stressful for the hive and causes mass flux of the population at times. Which means less plants get pollinated, which means less food for your bees the following year or two. Hints why you often leave a few hives alone.
There is some maintenance involved and if you want a healthy hive even for the benefits of just helping the plant population you'll need to do some really basic things to ensure the hive is healthy.
These thing include checking i'd say every few months into the hive to ensure fungus or other diseases are not afflicting the hive.
Once a year you could still partake in one section of honey comb (relative to the size of course of the total hive) after pollination seasons have passed. This is done for a couple of reasons.
1. It can actually cause minor stimulation of production the following year to catch up to 100% capacity gain.
2. By doing this once or twice yearly through each section of the hive you can help keep the hive clean by removing older combs.
It's not a simply as just leaving it out there.
Establishing a hive takes some decent amount of work, but it is not at all considered difficult.
It just takes research.