This site provides information on beekeeping in general and also offers techniques and different ideas to try for beekeepers in northern climates.
We are located in the Canadian prairie provinces. Our bees are sometimes unable to fly from the end of October to the beginning of April. That is 6 months of confinement for the bees. We can get cold spells in the middle of winter that last for 2-3 weeks without a break, -35C (-31F). However if the bees are healthy and have adequate food available they can even withstand conditions like that.
This site provides different methods of beekeeping that work in our part of the world.