Experimental & Applied Acarology

, Volume 21, Issue 8, pp 539–549

Non-reproduction in the honeybee mite Varroa jacobsoni


  • Stephen Martin
    • National Bee UnitCentral Science Laboratory, Sand Hutton
  • Kay Holland
    • Department of Biological Sciences, Hatherly LaboratoriesUniversity of Exeter
  • Muzz Murray
    • Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Plymouth

DOI: 10.1023/A:1018492231639

Cite this article as:
Martin, S., Holland, K. & Murray, M. Exp Appl Acarol (1997) 21: 539. doi:10.1023/A:1018492231639


This study brings together the results of investigations into both the causes and subsequent consequences of mites which fail to produce viable female offspring. These showed that the premature death of the male offspring within the host cell leads to unfertilized adult female offspring emerging from the cell. These unfertilized mites cannot mate and so never produce viable offspring, although they do enter cells and attempt to reproduce. Therefore, virgin females cannot account for females which normally only produce male offspring, suggesting that these males are not produced parthenogenically. In the majority of mites, the type of reproductive behaviour does not change, i.e. once abnormal always abnormal. The possible role of premature male mite death in the resistance of (Africanized) bees is discussed.

Varroa jacobsonireproductioninfertility

Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall 1997