>I love the idea of an observation hive
You'll love having one even more. :)
>if you try to overwinter them, how does this effect there regular, ummm, cycle??
Not at all. They stop rearing brood becuase of the shortness of the days and start rearing brood because the days are getting longer. It has nothing to do with the temps outside or in the hive. Besides the temps outside don't change and if the other bees could they would have the same temps inside.
>it'll be warm if they're inside, but they won't be able to fly because it's too cold
>what do they do about food?
Eat stores. If you think they're going to run out, feed them. Any observation hive should have a method to feed in the winter in case you need to.
>does this cause them to feed more or less?
>can they survive on their stored honey or do you have to feed em?
Somtimes yes, sometimes no. Observation hives have more ups and downs than regular hives.
>I think I gotta have one of these
You can check out one of mine:http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm
The observation hive pictures are down about the middle of the page.