The incidences and reproduction of the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa jacobsoni Oud, in colonies of the Asian hive bee, Apis cerana F, and the European honey bee, A mellifera L, in Papua New Guinea, Irian Jaya and Java are described. At each locality and in colonies of each bee species, adult female mites were present in capped brood cells, with proportionally more drone than worker brood cells infested. In the A cerana colonies, female mites reproduced only in capped drone brood cells. In A mellifera colonies, there was no evidence of successful mite reproduction on either worker or drone brood. Although not reproducing on A mellifera worker and drone brood, or on A cerana worker brood, adult female mites were nevertheless feeding and surviving. The inability of female mites to repro- duce in A mellifera colonies resulted in small, persistent mite infestations in individual colonies that were maintained solely by mites spreading from nearby A cerana colonies. There was no evidence that the mites inability to reproduce in A mellifera colonies resulted from extremely slow reproduction, inter-specific competition between V jacobsoni and Tropilaelaps clareae D & B, resistant bee popula- tions, or climatic conditions. These results have implications for finding and developing novel means of controlling V jacobsoni in localities where the mite has become a serious pest of A mellifera.
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