I live in middle Georgia, so we probably have about the same length of summer/winter. You're probably drier though. We get alot of rain here.
What I have experienced here, is that the bees get a good start in the year. Last year they swarmed mid-March. So this year I plan to do a split soon. I don't have enough experience to tell you EVERYTHING about how the year goes in a long season climate, but I'll give you what little I can. I also found that they pretty much settle down by mid-September (slowed down egg laying & very little wax building). At that point you need to have the size hive you want to go through winter. I would say you wouldn't want to try to make any more hives/nucs about end of May. Because it takes 21 days for the bees to make a queen, and that would get them to the end of June - and they should have a laying queen at that time. Then they'd have 2 months to raise up enough bees for a winter hive.
My first hive was started at the end of June (a 2 pound package with queen), and they made a strong enough hive for winter.
My bees only go through 10-15 pounds of honey during the winter.
Right now many things are blooming - dogwoods, bleeding hearts, lilies, honey suckle, wild roses - and some stuff I don't know the names to.