Re: Buckfast Queens
I've been running Buckfast for 30+ years. Some ( ~1/4) of the Texas Buckfast have been quite gentle, and a few ( maybe 5-10%) have gotten rather aggressive. On the whole (hundreds of colonies, spread over 30+ years) they would probably rank as just "normally defensive" of the hive. It is what they normally do...
Of course "defensive" behavior is a relative term and there are many variables to consider as to just why they are being defensive.
A beek with just a couple hives or perhaps a couple dozen can be gentler with his or her hives, which is perhaps one of the most important determining factors in defensiveness.
So far all of the Canadian Buckfast have been remarkably gentle for me. Every last one of them. And that's with a "no smoke" approach. They appear to be at least one step closer to pure European Buckfast.
As I mentioned above, ~1/4 of the southern Buckfast queen headed colonies were similarly quite gentle. Under the right circumstances, one could roll the dice, keep the good, & weed out the bad.
Agreed with DC on the mite & other ...
After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.