Submitted to: International Journal of Acarology
Publication Type: Research Notes
Publication Acceptance Date: April 2, 2003
Publication Date: May 2, 2003
Citation: Pettis, J.S., Ochoa, R., Orr, J. 2003. Interception of a live varroa mite on imported cut flowers in the united states. International Journal of Acarology. 29:291-292
Worldwide trade is a major reason for the increase in accidental exotic pest introductions. A prime example of this is spread of the parasitic bee mite Varroa destructor Anderson. Originally from South East Asia, this mite has become a worldwide beekeeping problem. Human's legally and illegally moving live bees with Varroa to various parts of the world have accelerated the dispersal of this pest. However, other means of dispersal of this mite are possible. Varroa mites have been reported from other species of Hymenoptera and their survival on flowers has been explored. Here we report on the port-of-entry interception in the United States of a live Varroa mite on internationally transported cut flowers as a new mode of dispersal of this pest. A live mite, Varroa sp., was found during routine inspection by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service-Plant Protection and Quarantine (APHIS-PPQ) of cut flowers arriving at Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia on June 6, 2000. This find is important because, recent research has shown that numerous Varroa haplotypes exist worldwide that do not all exist in the United States. Also, this same research has shown that some of the differences in the damage or lack of damage this pest inflicts on honey bees worldwide may now be explained by the fact that different areas of the world contain different Varroa haplotypes.