Varroa destructor is a parasitic mite of the Asian honey bee, Apis cerana.
Owing to host range expansion, it now plagues Apis mellifera, the world's p
rincipal crop pollinator and honey producer. Evidence from A. mellifera in
far-eastern Russia, Primorsky (P) originating from honey bees imported in t
he mid 1800's, suggested that many colonies were resistant to V. destructor
. A controlled field study of the development of populations of V. destruct
or shows that P colonies have a strong, genetically based resistance to the
parasite. As control colonies (D) were dying with infestations of ca. 10 0
00 mites, P colonies were surviving with infestations of ca. 4000 mites. Se
veral characteristics of the P bees contributed to suppressing the number o
f mites parasitizing their colonies.