2.2.5. Sample shipping

Specimens should be transported to their destination as soon as possible after collection. Some airlines prohibit the carriage of biological specimens preserved in alcohol on aircraft, whilst others are less stringent. It pays to check airline policy in this regard before attempting to send or carry specimens preserved in alcohol. A convenient way to avoid this problem is to pour the alcohol off the specimens shortly before transportation. In this way the specimens will still remain covered with a very small amount of alcohol and thus remain saturated in alcohol and preserved during transport. However, upon arrival the specimens should be again well-covered in fresh alcohol before storage. Some transportation courier services have arrangements in place with airlines to transport biological specimens preserved in alcohol on aircraft.

Some countries (e.g. Australia and the USA) require an official quarantine import permit to accompany imported varroa mite specimens. Other countries (e.g. Brazil) may prohibit the exportation of specimen due to specific laws on biopiracy. Therefore, before sending or transporting specimens to a particular country, that country’s policy on importing biological specimens should be checked and followed.