Experimental & Applied Acarology

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 321–325 | Cite as

Varroa destructor reproduction during the winter in Apis mellifera colonies in UK

  • Stephen J. Martin


The reproductive behaviour of female Varroa destructor mites invading worker brood cells during the winter months (January to mid-March) was investigated in four Apis mellifera colonies in UK. The number of viable offspring produced during a reproductive cycle, per mite, was only 0.5 during winter compared with 1.0 during the summer. This was mainly due to a large increase in the population of non-reproductive mites (winter 20%, summer 8%). This increase can be explained by the high level of male offspring mortality observed in winter (42% vs. 18% in summer), which results in nearly half of the newly reared female mites being unfertilised. Since mites that do reproduce lay a similar number of eggs in winter (\(\overline X = 4.7\)) as in summer (\(\overline X = 4.9\)), and the level of mortality suffered by the first female offspring is similar in winter (7%) as in summer (6%), it is probably not the internal physiological state of the host which causes the high level of winter non-reproduction, as has been previously suspected.

mortality reproduction Varroa winter 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen J. Martin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, Laboratory of Apiculture and Social InsectsSheffield University, Western BankSheffieldUK

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