There are basically three kinds of AHB hives:
1. Hives with a queen of European matriline mated primarily with AHB drones.
2. Hives with a queen of African matriline mated primarily with EHB drones.
3. Hives with a queen of African matriline mated primarily with AHB drones.
Hives of the third type are uber defensive and very difficult to manage. The other two types are typically less defensive but can still be a challenge. Of the three, type one is the "lesser of three evils" in that they will only kick out EHB drones, they are also much easier to re-queen. Based on recent studies done at TAM, in my area of Texas hives with AHB matrilines (ones that would kick out AHB drones) still represent less than 1/3 of the feral hive population. These studies were conducted in wilderness areas where there was very little influence from managed hives. A hot hive does not necessarily mean that it is Africanized, particularly in the case of other hybrid bees like Buckfast as the F2 generation queens of these type bees tend to become very aggressive. In short, the answer to the question as to whether AHB are really that bad is: It depends on the degree of Africanization. Personally, I would not waste much time trying to salvage type 2 or 3 hives because of the drone issue. Type one hives however, are prime candidates for re-queening. The caveat to all of this is that you need DNA analysis to know which is which.
"The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."