Varroa mite on drone pupa
Varroa mites have a definite preference for drone brood. Workers and especially queen brood are utilized only in cases of heavy infestation. Females mites produced in the summer live 2-3 months and in the fall 5-8 months. Without bees and brood the mites can survive no more than five days. They can, however, live in a comb with sealed brood at 68 degrees F up to 30 days.