• Honey Bee and Pollen - Colorado Beekeepers Association

Swarm Hotline

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’s the message you will hear and the instructions to use the Swarm Hotline:

Hi! You have reached the Colorado SPY BEES Swarm Hotline. Please be calm and listen carefully as we’ve updated the Hotline and your options have changed.   

Press 8 followed by the pound sign to specify the City where the swarm is located.  You’ll be instructed to press the first few letters of the City Name followed by the pound sign to be connected to a dispatcher.  Note that the city name and extension that you dialed will be announced.  Please follow any additional instructions to be connected but be patient as it may take a minute or more to reach your dispatcher.  At times the dispatcher may not be able to answer.  In that case, please leave your name, area code and number at the tone.  You may exit the City Directory by pressing star.

  • You may Press 0 followed by the poundsign for additional assistance from the Swarm Hotline Coordinator.

Please note that this message will repeat until you Press 8 followed by the pound sign to enter the City Name Directory or you Press 0 followed by the pound sign to reach the Swarm Coordinator.  Thank you for Saving the Bees and have a great day!  Good-bye!

Swarm Hotline



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