Observational data indicate that this bee-mite system is a tradeoff between mites being harmful to the bee when they feed on provisioned pollen and beneficial when they consume waste of developing bee larvae in the nest. The presence of acarinaria on bees suggests predominantly beneficial (mutualistic) bee-mite relationships in this system. Most likely, consuming a small portion of pollen in the brood cell and competing with bee larvae for food have a lesser deleterious effect, as compared to the benefits of the mite's sanitary function.
Detailed biological observations of Ctenocolletacarus mites in bee nests of Ctenocolletes albomarginatus and Ctenocolletes nicholsoni and in the laboratory are available in Houston, 1987.
These mites are closely associated with their hosts at all stages and their complete life cycle occurs in the hosts' sealed brood cells. Only phoretic deutonymphs leave the cells.
Male bees lack tergal acarinaria, so mite phoretic deutonymphs on male bees are usually concealed beneath the transparent posterolateral margins of the more posterior metasomal terga and in the genitalia. Circumstantial evidence suggestis that mite phoretic deutonymphs can be transmitted venereally between adult bees.