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Background: Managed, feral and wild populations of European honey bee subspecies, Apis mellifera, are currently facing severe colony losses globally. There is consensus that the ectoparasite mite Varroa destructor, that switched hosts from the Eastern honey bee Apis cerana to the Western honey bee A. mellifera, is a key factor driving these losses. For >20 years, breeding efforts have not achieved that European honey bee colonies survive infestations without the need for mite control. However, at least three populations of European honey bees have developed this by means of natural selection and have been surviving for >10 years without mite treatments. Reduced mite reproductive success has been suggested as a key factor explaining this natural survival. Here, we report a managed A. mellifera population in Norway, that has been naturally surviving consistent V. destructor infestations for >17 years. Methods: Surviving colonies and local susceptible controls were evaluated for mite infestation levels, mite reproductive success and twopotential mechanisms explaining colony survival: grooming of adult worker bees and Varroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH): adult workers specifically detecting and removing mite-infested brood. Results: Mite infestation levels were significantly lower in surviving colonies and mite reproductive success was reduced by ~30% compared to the controls. No significant differences were found between surviving and control colonies for either grooming or VSH. Discussion: Our data confirm that reduced mite reproductive success seems to be a key factor for natural survival of infested A. mellifera colonies. However, neither grooming nor VSH seem to explain colony survival. Instead, other behaviors of the adult bees seem to be sufficient to hinder mite reproductive success, because brood for this experiment was taken from susceptible donor colonies only. To mitigate the global impact of V. destructor, we suggest learning more from nature, i.e. identifying the obviously efficient mechanisms favored by natural selection.