I made contact with one of the local beekeepers in the Southern Cape, this is in the region around Knysna, close to my dads home. They keep African Bee's , NOT Cape Bees around here and just last years started to see AFB in regions close to this (100 miles away) but not yet here. Corrie has about 70 hives in total , 12 on his own property and others on surrounding farms. He has grown his hives mostly by catching wild swarms over the last 6 years. The vegetation is mostly Fynbos, a unique floral kingdom concentrated around the Cape Town region of SA and up to 400 miles away. We were about 300 miles from Cape Town. In addition there are still many flowering Gum trees in the region. This is late late summer and there are flowers galore all around. He started making his own hives after buying two , and has used scrap wood from local saw mills. Now he has found a local supplier who will ship flats. He uses Langstroth Deeps and Med Supers, 9 frames in his Deeps. He is paying about $4 a deep (shipped)!! As he is a full time shop keeper , we could only head out to his farm at 6pm (Sunset about 7pm), so we did not open up a hive, but it was interesting how very observant the bees were when we walked up to the entrance, I was able to walk up slowly to about 3 feet and they all lined up and watched me, he warned me if a scout flew out - I must walk away quickly. He showed me a nuc that he thought he might be able to open for me, but the wood had a crack we didn't see, 10 secs after he tried to pry the lid off he got stung, and had about 10 scouts after him, but as I was standing still they flew right past me. Later I had two bees land on my arm while close to another hive, no issue. But he did warn he seldom works a hive without a full suit, he has tried no gloves and been stung, but knows of another local beek who does not wear gloves ever. Climate is moderate, while in mid winter you can get frost , you dont get a freeze and he says there is food all winter. He will feed weak hives if needed and has some clever cheap ideas (pics to follow). Mid summer temps are about 90 deg max with mid humidity. Water is local on the farm with both animal watering baths and a local river only 300 yards away. South Africa has strict laws and every Beek must register their hives (From pics you will he has his license # on each deep) and honey is graded and tested occasionally, if they find any impurities they can pull your license. The Chinese honey imported 4 years ago has been the scourge of locals, almost certainly brought in AFB as it was not seen before that. It is now totally banned, and thus a shortage of honey exists. I saw many bees returning to the hives as we arrived and they were carrying good pollen , but his hives were mostly a deep and only one super. He said he had not pulled much honey recently as they are in drought situation. (I read into this that flowers were not as prolific as normal) SHB and Verroa are both present in his hives but are not an issue , he did talk about another mite he has seen in a caught swarm, but did not know the name of it. He uses no chemicals at all on hives , but does treat wooden ware and frames for wax moth. It looked like the foundation he used was around 4.6-4.8mm , he did not know as it was the only foundation he could buy. Stealing of hives and honey is a big issue in this region as there is a fair amount of unemployment. He has tried to help locals and teach them beekeeping , but within two months had all his hives stolen, he is sure there was a link. Now his dogs are closer to the hives and his electric fence for cattle and horses is also around the hives. Will upload pics soon.