Today I performed my first hive incursion since getting the new bees, and there is much good news to report. For example, the bees? Are THRIVING. Lots of brood comb and a frillion or so workers in the air. Also, it turns out meat tenderizer really does work a treat on beestings, reducing the swelling by more than half within minutes! Three cheers for old wives' tales and friendly neighbors who don't mind cooking with MSG!
The bad news is, I think they sent me the wrong bees, because I ordered docile Italians and I'm fairly certain the emm-effers in my backyard are Africanized.
Finally, a point of information: if you can't find your beekeeping gauntlets, KEEP LOOKING. Even if you ALLEGEDLY bought docile Italian bees, gardening gloves are no substitute. Because they have that keyhole gap at the wrist, and Italian Africanized bees are highly intelligent and will proceed through that little gap single-file and sting you up to your elbows if given half the chance. THE MORE YOU KNOW.