Actually last July I did splits of about 25% of my hives which were all successful in producing their own queens and had to do one today, a walk away split. I must have a much milder ‘Winter’ here but I’m certainly not saying it is right for everyone, far from it, but it works here. My hives don’t ‘shut down’ with the cooler climate at all, I checked a few of the other hives today and found hives heavy with honey that I extracted from 6 weeks ago. I run 8 frames supers and always leave 2 frames of honey if the weather turns sour.
My coldest night this June and July has been 11C outside the hive, so it is nothing like what you get even in Adelaide and I recon up on the hills would be a few degrees colder still. The last few days have been 23/26C and the girls are busy with a good nectar flow.
A huge difference to what I used to get out in the Hawkesbury and Mudgee areas with -7c common at night in July. Tis funny that JeffH is only 18 klm’s away and my bees hit a dearth from mid last November till mid March with the heat and drought while Jeff continued to produce honey. So while he is close by we can have different micro-climates.