Reproduction of Varroa jacobsoni Oudemans has been extensively studied in colonies of the mite's recently acquired host, Apis mellifera Linnaeus. However, data on reproduction in colonies of its original host, A. cerana Fabricius, are still fragmentary. In order to compare reproductive success in naturally infested brood cells of A. cerana and A. mellifera, freshly capped worker and drone cells (0–5 h after capping) were marked and opened 9 days later. When one or more foundress Varroa mites were found, the number and stage of the offspring were recorded. In colonies of A. cerana, V. jacobsoni reproduced almost exclusively in drone cells. Surprisingly, however, these drone cells proved to be better suited for reproduction than drone (and worker) cells of A. mellifera. Firstly, in drone cells of A. cerana, 97–100% of the mites produced daughters and 98–99% of these mites also produced a son. In drone and worker cells of A. mellifera only 70–80% produced daughters and only 74–86% of these mites produced a son. Secondly, if a mite produced daughters, she produced more daughters in drone cells of A. cerana than in drone cells of A. mellifera: 4.5–4.6 vs 2.9–3.7 daughters per mite, respectively. Finally, infestation by two foundress females negatively affected reproduction per mite in drone cells of A. mellifera, but not in drone cells of A. cerana. Thus, V. jacobsoni seems to be better adapted to A. cerana than to A. mellifera, although population growth of mites in A. mellifera colonies is higher due to the exploitation of worker cells besides drone cells.