Re: Hello from Alaska
My understanding is that it is pretty difficult to winter bees in Alaska due to long time they spend inside the hive over winter and nosema/dysentry is the problem. If you do get the occassional +50F days, the bees will take short cleansing flights.
There's no harm in trying to winter them. Treat them for Nosema with Fumigilin in the fall, make sure there is 175 lbs of honey in the hive, insulate the hives, control the varroa mites, and provide minimal but adequate(exhaust moisture given off by bees consuming honey) ventilation.
Carniolans may be a better breed as they originated from a colder climate and winter with a smaller population. Hence, consume considerably less honey over winter.
Zone 3b. If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!