Thanks for the welcome. Sorry to post back so late. I expected to see an emailed notification of replies to my post, but I didn't see any!
@sawdstmakr: In the video you saw with Africanized bees that looked like Italians, were the hives fully developed/well populated? Small or weak Africanized hives (single brood chamber) usually are relatively mild. Once strong, however, the attack response is not like any Italians I have ever seen. My hives are about 200 yards from the house, which is plenty. They do need to be on separate bases, else any vibration from working one hive will infuriate other hives. I use concrete block bases about 8 feet apart.
I'll post on the Africanized bees in a new thread. I hope to have time for that tomorrow. Rainy season is about to begin and we are up to our ears in farm work!
They had 1 or more deep supers on top of a deep brood box. The speaker pointed out that with a group of students he opened the biggest hive all the way to the brood chamber, then he let the students pick the weakest hive and open it. They had to run for their cars within a few minutes. It was his technique that allowed him to open them with out any problems. He did not go into his technique.