I am new at beekeeping this year, I started out with a 5 pound package of Italians and they have not dissappointed me. It is fascinating to sit with my 7 year old son and watch the bees work. I am left to wonder why didn't I discover this earlier? I am interested in overwintering and raising queens in Alaska to cut down on the expense of buying package bees every year. If anyone has any input please let me know.