Our beautiful neighborhood is a hotbed for swarming bees in the late Spring due to the plentiful gardens and trees. In April, May or early June, you might see a swarm take residence in a nearby tree or other temporary home.
Bees swarm when there are too many bees in the hive. The queen leaves with half of the hive bees, allowing another queen to take residence. The swarm heads for a temporary spot to rest while the scout bees seek a more permanent home, such as inside a rotted out tree.
There is nothing to fear. Bees are in a pretty docile mood when they are swarming. However, do not consider moving them, and do not spray them with anything. You don’t want to anger them, and do not want to kill these precious insects. Instead, call the Bee Swarm Hotline at 1-844-SPY-BEES and someone will come to remove the bees. They will find the lot a good home with a beekeeper, allowing them to have a better chance of making it through the next winter.
To learn more about bees and beekeeping, visit coloradobeekeepers.org or take a class at the Botanic Gardens or To Bee or Not to Bee in Littleton.