Many factors work against honey bees during the Alaska winter and it's not the extreme cold that is the only danger. Honey bees can, as a group, regulate the temperature inside the hive. Bees cluster together and basically shiver to create heat and keep each other warm. When winters are long and food sources are limited or depleted, survival of the fittest takes on a whole new meaning.
Sustainable beekeepers or apiarists leave honey, not sugar water, for their bees to eat during hard times. This keeps bees strong and helps ensure a good honey production for the next year.
Bees that survive the extremes are greeted with spring flower blooms! They get right to work by "spring-cleaning" the hive, making honey and increasing their population! Many bees make light work, each bee doing their part.