Does anybody know how to keep the bees away from my hummingbird feeders without hurting my hummingbirds?

Does anybody know how to keep the bees away from my hummingbird feeders without hurting my hummingbirds?

28 March, 2010 (13:41) | hummingbird feeders | By: admin


Does anybody know how to keep the bees and ants away from my hummingbird feeders without harming my hummingbirds? The hummingbirds just fly away when the bees are around. They don’t even fight for their food. Thanks for the help.

Honeybees have a limited depth they can access. Find a feeder or modify your existing feeder so that bees can’t climb in it and the holes that hummingbirds use to access the sugar water is at least a quarter inch or so deep and not wide enough for a bee to get her head in there. Sorry, I can’t help with the ants.

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Comments

Comment from Kes
Time March 28, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Try hanging a piece of anti-static cloth (Breeze?) used in a clothes dryer under the feeder. It should chase away bees (and ants) without harming the hummingbirds. Of course it may chase away the hummingbirds too if too close to the feeder.
References :

Comment from birdgirl
Time March 28, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Most hummingbird feeders have a little indentation or "bowl" at the top of them near the hook of the feeder. This area is meant to be filled with water to keep ants from getting down to the bottome of the feeder.
References :

Comment from eek
Time March 28, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Luv,
Your hummingbirds are polite because they know the bees have a shorter foraging time during the day. The hummingbirds fed earlier and will feed again after the bees have gone to hive.

Seriously, If I were you, I would put out more feeders and enjoy both the birds and the bees… Eeekkkk! no matter how hard I try I can’t seem to be serious with this answer.

There is already a good ant answer above mine.
References :

Comment from Kerbachard
Time March 28, 2010 at 8:06 pm

WE NEED BEES!!!! …get another feeder.

…my dad pointed out one time that hummingbirds only land on a limb with no leaves.? ….what i noticed, seemed true!?
References :

Comment from infernoflower
Time March 28, 2010 at 8:20 pm

Honeybees have a limited depth they can access. Find a feeder or modify your existing feeder so that bees can’t climb in it and the holes that hummingbirds use to access the sugar water is at least a quarter inch or so deep and not wide enough for a bee to get her head in there. Sorry, I can’t help with the ants.
References :
Beekeeper with hummingbird feeders(no ant problem though)

Comment from Zoe Ann Hinds
Time March 29, 2010 at 8:55 am

Bees and wasps are two other insects that can cause problems with your hummingbird feeders. Here are some tips that may help you solve the problem of bees and wasps.

1. Buy a feeder with bee guards. Many of the hummingbird feeders available on the market today come equipped with plastic guards. “Bee guards” are a screen-like device that fits over the feeder wholes that makes it difficult for the insects to reach the feeding solution. Unfortunately, many of these hummingbird feeders will also be prone to dripping which can lessen the effectiveness of the bee guards. To help solve this problem, you can use the following suggestions to help prevent your hummingbird feeder from leaking:

•Always fill the feeder completely full with cool nectar. The stopper should be inserted and the feeder quickly inverted to avoid any air entering the feeder. Tube feeders operate on a vacuum principle, and the feeder must be filled completely full in order for the vacuum to form!

•Only hang your feeder in shade or partial shade. The cooler the feeder, the less likely it is to drip.

•Make sure to keep the feeder very clean by regularly cleaning the vessel with hot water and a bottle brush. Soap should not be used during cleaning, because its residue may cause your feeder to drip. As an alternative, try periodically using a vinegar rinse to thoroughly clean your feeder and then rinse well with hot water.

•As a last resort, the stopper assembly can be placed in very hot water to soften the tube. You can bend it slightly to increase the angle. This will stop dripping, but might make it more difficult for nectar to come down the tube.

•If the dripping of this type of feeder is too much for you, then try a top-feeding hummingbird feeder instead.

There is no perfect solution as to how to prevent hummingbird feeders from leaking or dripping – feeders will drip occasionally. However, using the suggestions listed above will help minimize the amount of leaking or dripping that occurs, so that you can truly enjoy your feeder.

2. Try moving the feeder. Sometimes just moving the feeder, even just a few feet, will trick the insects into thinking that it’s gone and they won’t find it. Another suggestion is to take the feeder down for a day or two until the bees and wasp quit looking for it. Once the feeder is back up again, the hummingbirds will find it again, because the birds don’t give up looking for it as quickly as the insects do.

3. Give the insects their own feeder. Personally, I had never before heard of this prior to doing some research on the Internet, but I have since heard from many people that this is a very effective technique. This will require the use of separate hummingbird feeders, one for the bees and wasps and one for the hummingbirds. Bees and wasps are attracted to higher concentrations of sugar, so in their feeder use a nectar solution with a ratio of 1 part sugar to 3 parts water. In the hummingbird’s feeder, use a ratio of 1 part sugar to 5 parts water. This ratio is not as sweet as the normal nectar solution that is made with a ratio of 1 to 4, but the hummingbirds will still drink it and it will be far less attractive to the bees and wasps. It will take a few hours for the bees and wasps to find their own feeder and it should be placed away from the hummingbirds own feeder.

4. Buy a saucer-type Hummingbird feeder. This type of feeder is usually made of plastic. This type of feeder is far more drip proof because the feeding ports are located in the top, so they’re not as likely to attract insects. Also, the nectar level will be lower and out of reach to the insects, but not out of reach to the hummingbirds because of their long tongues. This type feeder also does better in direct sunlight then other types of feeders.