DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado is in the middle of what bee experts call “swarm season,” a time when large groups of bees show up in yards and properties.
“It’s when established beehives that made it through the winter reproduce. That’s what they want to do, sometimes they’ll reproduce two or three times out of one hive,” said Gregg McMahan, owner of Rocky Mountain Bee and a dispatcher for the Colorado Swarm Hotline.
McMahan said he is currently responding to about four or five calls a day. Beekeepers will remove the bees at no charge, take them to a safe space and put them into a hive. He says homeowners should not try to remove swarms on their own.
“Don’t try to handle it yourself,” McMahan said. “Don’t go spray it and kill it. I’ve seen people put plastic garbage bags on the swarm and things. Get a beekeeper out there, help your environment, get these girls into a good home.”
McMahan recently responded to a call in Arvada where a homeowner noticed the second swarm on his property within a few weeks.
The process of removing the swarm involves a beekeeper using a box containing honey and beeswax to help coax the bees inside. McMahan places the box under the swarm and shakes the branch or bush they’re resting on. The goal is to get the queen bee safely inside the box and the rest will follow.
People can contact the hotline at (844) 779-2337.