Varroa destructor in Africanized honey bees in Brazil: genetic and reproductive profile


  • Fábio A. Pinto Federal University of Viçosa
  • Erica W. Teixeira APTA - Biological Institute
  • Lubiane Guimarães Cestaro Federal University of Viçosa
  • Marta F. Martins EMBRAPA - Dairy Cattle Research Center
  • Maria Luisa T. M. F. Alves APTA - Biological Institute
  • Dejair Message Federal University of the Semi-arid



Acari, Apidae, bee pathology, parasitic mite, varroosis


The mite Varroa destructor is one of the most studied parasites in apiculture, and its genotype variation is a key factor for the severity of infestation in bee colonies. Here we report the genetic and reproductive profile of mites from 14 Brazilian states with different geographic and climatic conditions. We performed PCR to amplify a fragment of the COI gene and differentiate the haplotypes using restriction enzymes. The K haplotype was widely prevalent in the studied sites, while the J haplotype was found only in four municipalities. We also observed both haplotypes (J and K) coexisting in the same colony, a fact unprecedented in Brazil. Infestation levels were low (0.33 to 15.3%). The reproductive potential showed wide variation (0 to 1.5), indicating that even with the massive presence of K haplotype, environmental and biotic factors related to Africanized honeybees may be responsible for maintaining the mite under low levels in Brazil.


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How to Cite

Pinto, F. A., Teixeira, E. W., Cestaro, L. G., Martins, M. F., Alves, M. L. T. M. F. ., & Message, D. (2022). Varroa destructor in Africanized honey bees in Brazil: genetic and reproductive profile. Sociobiology, 69(1), e7340.



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