Bees swarm in the spring. In Colorado, bees swarm from approximately April 1st until the end of the summer with May and June being the busiest months. A swarm occurs when a hive, wild or managed, becomes overcrowded and the old queen and approximately half of the original hive leaves to find a new home. Swarms are generally quite docile but they can be disconcerting due to the sheer numbers of bees within the swarm. It is still a good idea to keep your distance so as to not make the bees feel threatened.
Swarms will eventually leave on their own, once the scout bees have returned to inform the group that they have found a suitable new home. Where it may have taken an hour or more for the swarm to collect, they can be gone in less than a minute once they get word it is time to go. However, beekeepers prefer to catch the bees as a swarm in case their new home–is yours!
If you are lucky enough to witness one of nature’s most fascinating migrations, a swarm, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO KILL THEM! Do not spray them with insecticide or water! These bees are “survivor bees” and are crucial to our environmental health. Call the NEW toll-free bee swarm hotline. We have volunteer beekeepers throughout the state ready to be dispatched to collect the bees and transfer them to a new home. For FREE! And, generally, within an hour or two. Please be patient and Do NOT continue to call more beekeepers.
Here is the message you will hear when connecting to the SPY BEES Swarm Hotline
Hi! You have reached the Colorado SPY BEES Swarm Hotline.
If you know the Extension for your Swarm location from the map on the CSBA Website, you may dial that number followed by pressing the pound or number sign to be connected to a dispatcher. Otherwise, here are your connection options:
For Denver & the Front Range Areas, press 8 then the pound or number sign to get to the City Name Directory.
Once there, press the first three letters of the city name followed by the pound or number sign to connect to your area’s dispatcher. You may be provided additional options to reach the correct dispatcher based on the city name.
It may take a minute or more to connect – if the dispatcher cannot answer, please leave your name, area code and number at the tone and then hang up.
To restart this announcement, press the star or splat key.
For areas outside of the Front Range or those not found in the City Name Directory:
- Press 1then pound for the San Luis Valley area.
- 2pound for Routt County or
- 3pound to connect to the Upper Arkansas Valley.
- Press 4pound for the Four Corners area,
- 5pound for the Grand Junction area or
- 6pound for the Eastern Plains area.
- You may also press 0pound to get the Operator.
This message will repeat until you select one of the connection options.
Thank you for Saving the Bees!
PLEASE NOTE: To get to the “Swarm Hotline Map” on this website, go to “Resources” >> “Swarm Hotline” >> “Swarm Hotline Map” and follow the instructions to get help to “Call A Swarm Rescue Dispatcher”.
“Honey Bee” = FUZZY
“European Paper Wasp” = SHINY, skinny, bold black and yellow, not always striped.