Hi Chris and welcome to the forum.!
I started my first package in the spring of 2012 and they didn't survive the first winter either. I decided from that point on, I wasn't going to buy any more bees, I wanted local, feral stock. The three hives I have now, have wintered through some of the coldest temps. we've seen in years. (10 degrees). They appear to be strong and hardy, with very few losses. I also decided I was going treatment free. I agree with the philosophy that if we keep propping up weak bees with antibiotics and treatments, then we'll always have weak bees. The downside is, you will loose some weaker colonies. Anyway, enough of my rambling. There is tons of info here. Dig in, use the search function often and ENJOY! David