At the University of Wisconsin-Stout, we are investigating a potential new bacterial disease of honey bees which may be transmitted by Varroa destructor mites. Our studies led to the discovery and reporting of the Serratia marcescens strain sicaria (Ss1), a new bacterial threat to hives. A link to the study published in PLOS-One follows: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0167752
The UW-Stout INDES program is working to obtain fresh samples of Varroa destructor mites from across the US for analyses of Ss1. The goal of this study is to provide a clearer understanding of locations where Ss1 is appearing in the US to better understand its potential impact on bee health in this country. Samples of mites obtained will be examined for Ss1 without charge and confidential testing results will be provided to those submitting samples. Please consider participating in the study by providing a sample of mites from your hive or hives.
If you are interested in providing a sample of Varroa mites for testing or have any questions about our work, we would appreciate hearing from you by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Specific collection and shipment instructions and responses to questions will be provided in our response to your communication.
Jim Burritt and the INDES Testing Team