Matt - I’m a new beekeeper as well, and want to learn from my mistakes so the bees don’t have to suffer from my stupidity more than once.
I installed my bees about 4 days ago. For the first 2 days, the bees were foraging during the day, and just clustered around the queen box at night, with their wings humming nicely. Yesterday they seemed to be getting quite industrious with their comb-building, so I decided to open the hive today (day 4) for the first time and check to make sure the queen was still OK - if she hadn’t been let out of the box yet, and to remove the empty box and make sure the comb was straight if she had been released. Well, she had been released, but the two combs the bees were working on were very crooked (the two combs together spanned three bars from end to end diagonally - they obviously followed the angle the box had twisted to. I pulled the empty queen box from the larger comb and tried to bend that comb straight, but it wasn’t well attached to the top bar, so it failed. I bent the second (smaller) comb straight successfully, but just laid the bee-covered failed comb in the opposite end of their living area so they could recover whatever they wanted to take from that. No capped cells in it, but there were some scattered larvae evident and some food in some of the cells. Since I know that bees tend not to re-use the wax itself, I plan to just remove that broken piece in the future once they are done with it.
So I closed up the hive and will leave them to their own devices for awhile to (hopefully) let them build straight comb using the small (re-oriented by me) piece that’s still hanging there as a guide. I didn’t want to take any more time to try to find the queen (there are a LOT of bees in there - low mortality during installation since I used a local bee source). Since I saw larvae I figured she must be ok. I don;t think more than a bee or two were hit by the falling comb, so hopefully she’s still ok, but I’m sure I’ll know that soon enough.
Bottom line: Did I do anything stupid? I wasn’t really expecting what happened, so I had to figure out what to do as I went along and tried to do things as inobtrusively as possible.
Love your top bar hive by the way - the bees do too. Or at least they did until I broke their comb… Only problem was that around day two, when I opened up the door to look through the plastic window, the bees started forcing their heads between the wood and the plastic, bee after bee until one of the metal attachments gave out - resulting in bees flying out the gap. Once they did that I closed the wooden door quickly. Then when they settled down for the night I quickly opened the wooden cover over the window and caulked on the outside between the wood and the plastic and closed the door again as quickly as I could. They haven’t tried to come out that way again, so I think that worked. Has this ever happened to the windows in your hives before - or do I have some kind of “Virginia Superbee”? Just wondering. Thanks!