I met a beekeeper at a gas station today. He had some great advice (paraphrased) for a new beekeeper like myself.
"Dont coddle the bees. Don't feel bad if your bees don't make it through the winter. In fact, helping weak bees survive is doing no one any good."
He also had quite a bit to say about the southern package industry, which I won't repeat here; but the basic idea was that you can't breed/select for a northern climate in the warmth of the southern winter.
Anyway, I'm sure there are differing opinions about this but it was definitely interesting to hear, especially coming from someone with a bit of experience.