I got into the hive today, with mixed results. Long story short, I think all is reasonably well in there, because the bees haven't taken off and are building comb. And they're filling some of that comb with honey.
I never did actually see the queen though, even after looking for the 'rosette' cluster of bees that should have tipped me off where she was. I also couldn't tell if there was brood or not, and although I could see something in the bottom of some of the cells, I couldn't tell what it was.
Then because I got distracted and wasn't watching what I was doing, one of the combs started to fall off the bar because I wasn't holding it correctly. I righted it quickly and hung it back in the hive, but if it falls off it will be pretty disastrous. Nuts.
The good news is that I was fairly calm through the whole thing, and I was pretty careful putting all the bars back in and the lid on, so I think I kept the bee crushing to a minimum.
But really so far, I think I've done these poor bees more harm than good, and since their syrup can still felt pretty heavy, I'm leaving them alone for awhile. Maybe by leaving them completely alone, they'll actually be able to grow in numbers and make a go of it.
And if not, I'll try again next year, maybe taking another bee keeping class in the interim.