One problem with honey bees is that we move them around so much. Specifically half of the bees in the US go to California during a critical 22 day period to pollinate the almond orchards.
This means that most bees are best adapted to survive in the California, which means that the PNW bees don’t really thrive in their colder than optimal environment.
Well one bee keeper is taking it upon himself to stop honey production and focus on making queens that are best suited for the Washington and PNW environment! Read about it here.