What is the Purpose of boiling sugar for hummingbird feeders?

What is the Purpose of boiling sugar for hummingbird feeders?

23 January, 2010 (01:49) | hummingbird feeders | By: admin

What is the purpose of why you need to boil sugar with water before you put it in the hummingbird feeders?

I know someone who does it without and they have about 30 during the summer who fight over it. I can’t find any website which states why you should or should not.

Thank you for your kind answers.
My Dad says you have to so it won’t get bacteria and kill the hummingbirds and will get moldy.
Thank you Tami…..You did help me and thanks for your hard work. Mr. Me could learn a thing or two from your website.

I’ve searched for you and this is the best Site I found.


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Comment from mr.me
Time January 23, 2010 at 7:05 am

to melt the suger faster…DEE TA DEEE gurl com on…the anser is right in front of you. srry dont mean to be an asshole forgiv me…
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Comment from Tami
Time January 23, 2010 at 7:36 am

I’ve searched for you and this is the best Site I found.

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Comment from train nut
Time January 23, 2010 at 8:12 am

you don’t actually have to boil it. Actually if you want to wait long enough you don’t have to heat it at all, the only reason you heat it is so the sugar will dissolve faster. As for keeping the feeders clean you can put them in a 10% bleach solution for about 5 hours once a week and then rinse them off thoroughly and that will kill any bacteria. Most of the time you can just scrub them with a sponge and dish soap though and they will come clean. i only bleach mine once a month.
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Comment from Kelly C
Time January 23, 2010 at 8:20 am

You boil the water to prevent harmful molds and bacteria from thriving in the sugar solution… by boiling it you kill any bacteria and whatnot in the water and sterilze it. That way the hummingbirds dont get sick from spoiled nectar because it stays fresh longer. Do an experiment if you like, fill 2 feeders one with plain water and sugar solution and one with a boiled water/sugar solution.. you will see the difference in a few days. Especially when it is really hot out.. the unboiled feeder will get cloudy and spoiled alot faster than the one which has been boiled. Thus you kill two birds with one stone, you prevent the birds from getting sick from spoiled food, and you dont have to change the feeder as often because the liquid keeps longer.

PS ypu should also avoid using red food coloring as it is unecessary and could be harmful to hummingbirds.

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Comment from andromedasview@sbcglobal.net
Time January 23, 2010 at 8:49 am

While one reason for boiling the mixture is to help dissolve the sugar more effectively, the main reason is to destroy added chemicals such as chlorine and flouride added to most water supplies meant for human comsumption. Wild animals don’t need these additives, some of which are toxic to them. Using distilled water, there is no need to boil the mixture, as long as the sugar is dissolved either by stirring or by gentle heating. The idea of sterilizing the water is meaningless, since the feeder itself is not sterile, nor are the birds which feed at it. If you’re using tap water, it’s not supposed to contain harmful bacteria, mold, fungi or viruses, due to its chemical treatments. If you’re using pump, creek, river or ground water, this would be the same water the birds would get from nectar in natural flowers, so they would have tolerance or immunity to most potential pathogens found there.
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