For the public: If you are a member of the public or the pest control industry wishing to report a swarm, call
Northern Colorado Honey Bee Swarm Hotline number: 970-658-4949
Berthoud, Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder, Johnstown, Milliken, Windsor, Severence, Fort Morgan, Timnath, Fredrick, Firestone, Estes Park
Definition: A swarm of honeybees is group of bees with a queen bee in migration to establish a new colony. Often seen as a 5-inch diameter (or larger) cluster of honey bees attached to – anything! – they generally move on within a few hours to a day, and seldom pose a hazard to anyone. Once a swarm has taken up residence, for example in a building wall or soffit, they are much more difficult and costly to remove. As a public service, please call the swarm hotline immediately when you spot a swarm so the bees can be safely collected by a trained beekeeper and placed in a hive. There is generally no charge for this service. The photo at the right is an exceptionally large swarm attached to a tree.
The Honey Bee Swarm Hotline: For many years, the NCBA has sponsored a Swarm Hotline. To be a swarm catcher, please plan to participate in our April Swarm Hotline meeting. In order to participate in the NCBA Swarm Collection and Hive Removal program – having your name on the list of people who will be called for swarm collection or colony removal from structures – you MUST be a current NCBA member AND have a current, signed Membership Application and Liability waiver on file. You will also need to follow the swarm catcher rules of engagement. Please download and return this form to the swarm dispatch coordinator. You can download the application / waiver below, and send it to the address on the form.
Honey Bee Rescue from Structures: We are no longer coordinating the removal of honey bee colonies from structures. You can view/search the names of people who have told us they perform this service in our business directory. There is usually a charge for removal of an established colony of bees – bees in a structure or other enclosed location. NCBA is not liable for any damage or injury as a result of a structural removal. It is up to you to make sure the contractor is capable and insured for their service. View Directory Listings
If you are an individual or business with liability insurance covering your beekeeping activities, please let our swarm coordinator know and ask your insurance agent to provide them with a Certificate of Insurance showing coverages for these activities. If you wish to obtain such insurance, contact your insurance agent.
Each year NCBA offers Honey Bee Swarm Hotline Participant Training and a Swarm Season Recap for the prior year. It is scheduled for the April Meeting. This meeting is mandatory for those who were not on the Swarm Hotline call list the prior year and wish to participate this year.
If you are interested in being a swarm catcher this year, AND YOU HAVE BEEN A SWARM CATCHER IN THE PAST, please download and complete the form and bring it with you to the mandatory swarm meeting.
If you are in need of having a bee hive removed from a structure, please view our beekeeper services directory.
Honey Bee Swarm and Bee Hive Removal Hotline – 970-658-4949
Honey Bee Swarm season is here – the photo at the right is an exceptionally large swarm attached to a tree. If you have a swarm that needs to be collected please call the NCBA Swarm and Hive Removal Hotline – 970-658-4949
If you need to have a colony of honey bees removed from your property, call the hotline and we will send a qualified hive removal person to your area to make an estimate of the cost.
Is it BEES? or WASPS? or YELLOW JACKETS?
The image to the left are wasps. There are usually fewer numbers in a wasp nest, although some nests can become very large. Their bodies are not fuzzy and are usually shiny. Wasps are usually more aggressive than bee’s.
The images to the right are Yellow Jackets. Often misidentified as honeybees, yellow jackets are easily distinguished from honeybees by their sharply-defined yellow and black stripes or markings. Honeybees are fuzzy and the markings are less uniform and distinct. (See below)
The Image to the left is a Honey BEE. They are usually found in larger numbers and are ‘fuzzy’. Most of the time, bees are more docile than wasps. The lower photo to the left is a swarm that has decided to make this their home. A new swarm would not have any comb at first and they usually will stay around for a few hours until the scout bees return notifying the swarm where their new home is.