Survival of ectoparasitic mites Tropilaelaps mercedesae in association with honeybee hive products.
The global trade of honeybee hive products imposes the risk of the introduction of exotic pests. However, data on the potential of specific products enabling pest survival are often lacking. This holds especially true for ectoparasitic mites Tropilaelaps spp., which are mandatory pests of honeybees in many countries. Here, we evaluated the longevity of Tropilaelaps mercedesae mites associated with empty honeycomb and dry pollen as two possible global import routes. Mites were able to survive up to three days in dry pollen and up to six days in empty honeycomb, thereby suggesting a sufficient time window for the potential introduction of T. mercedesae into mite-free countries via import of these hive products.