How to Keep Bees Away from Hummingbird Feeder

Do you feed hummingbirds? Then you might have to deal with bees trying to feed on the delicious nectar. Feeders contain sugar that can attract hummingbirds. This frustrates feeders like you. You might be tempted to insecticides or pesticides. However, there are ways to control bees and insects.

Are Hummingbirds Afraid of Bees?

Hummingbirds might not be afraid of birds. However, when too many bees along with other insects feed on the sugar water, it tends to be contaminated. Thus, hummingbirds are less attractive to them. In extreme conditions, hundreds of bees might monopolize the feeder and this can prevent the birds from visiting the feeder. You can control these bees and keep them away from the hummingbird feeders.

How do You Get Rid of Bees on Hummingbird Feeders?

If you want to keep the bees away from the feeder, here are a few ways to do it.

1. Install Bee Guards

Hummingbirds have long beaks and they can easily reach out to the nectar using their long tongues. So, the best way is to make the feeder bee proof.

  • You can make small holes that will keep bees and any other insects from getting into it.
  • Some feeders already have built-in bee guards.

So, get a feeder with a bee guard and in case you already have a feeder, just install a bee guard. It will prevent the bees from going inside through the hole. Thus, they can’t reach out to the nectar. Bees tend to call for reinforcements when they have access to the nectar.

2. Relocate the Feeder Every Now and Then

The moment the birds find a food source, they will keep on visiting. When they do, they will look for other food sources close by. To keep the feeder away from bees, you can use it; you can change its place from time to time.

  • You can move the feeder only a few feet. Even such a little distance can make it difficult for the bees to find it. However, if you move the feeder frequently, it can also be confusing for the hummingbirds. So, make sure you have a moving schedule.
  • At times, insects prefer visiting convenient sources and will not look for the hummingbird that you have relocated. Hence, it can minimize insect visits.

3. Prepare a Less Sweet Nectar

Honey bees are pretty partial when it comes to sugar, especially sucrose. If there are multiple nectar sources, bees tend to keep away from a flower that has nectar with weak sugar concentration.

  • So, they are primarily after sugar. The best thing to do is to reduce the sugar concentration in the hummingbird feeder. This will make the bees lose interest in it. Opt for 1:5 sugar to water ratio for the hummingbird feeder.
  • Bees like higher sugar concentration that they get from their own feeder. In a hummingbird feeder, the sugar to water ratio is 4:1. So, add an additional portion of sugar to the bee feeder. The sugar to water ratio for a bee feeder is usually 3:1.

4. Use Red Saucer Feeders

Hummingbirds can easily reach out to the nectar using their long beak but bees cannot do that. Red color attracts hummingbirds, while the yellow color attracts bees.

  • You will find hummingbird feeders in the market that are less insect-friendly. Here, the saucer feeder is further away from the nectar ports. Thus, insects find it difficult to reach the nectar.
  • You will find additional accessories that you can easily add to any hummingbird feeder.
  • Guide bees towards bowls filling it with 2:1 sugar and water combination. Now, place the bowl close to the hummingbird feeder. As soon as the bees get to know about the bowl, move it away to a spot away from the feeder.

5. Hang the Feeder Away from a Sunny Spot

Hummingbirds, as well as bees, are going to feed on the feeder till it’s accessible. However, bees tend to look for nectar and pollen in flowers that are usually present under sunlight. This is because flowers bloom only in sunlight.

  • So, another way to keep bees away from the feeder is to place it in a shady spot. A good advantage of this is. This keeps the nectar from spoiling easily.
  • However, don’t forget that hanging it in a completely dark place will make it less attractive to hummingbirds as they will fail to find it. So, the best place to hang is an area that is partially shady.

6. Keep Away Anything Yellow

Bees look for nectar and pollen. Thus, yellow, the common color of flower or food sources tend to attract them. While red isn’t that attractive to them. So, don’t keep hummingbird feeders that have yellow flower accents or insect guards. This will make it unattractive to bees.

  • In case you have a feeder with yellow color on it, repaint it red but make sure you use non-toxic paint. Yellow and blue tend to influence bees more than any other color.
  • Bees see different spectrums than humans. They can see the electromagnetic spectrum’s ultraviolet part that humans are unable to see. It’s due to this that they are unable to see anything red.

7. Put Up Fake Wasp Nest

Wasps are territorial and don’t build nests close to other colonies. Wasp nests tend to deter bees from obtaining food from the sources close to the nest.

  • Yellowjackets and bees can move away from the feeder thinking space that is already taken. In case you want to make the wasp nest look real, create a nest that is 8×11 inches in size.
  • Yellowjackets and wasps make their nest in or on the ground. Thus, they don’t take notice of the fake wasp nest that hangs outside the house, particularly during the early spring months when they look for new locations.

8. Clean the Feeder Frequently

Nectar drips from the bills on the feeder when the birds feed. It can also drip when you fill it to the brim. Air pressure forces the nectar out of the feeder. Whenever you refill the feeder, make sure you clean around the feeding ports. This removes the nectar that spills over. In case there are any cracks, repair them. This minimizes leaks.

Even when it’s small in size, the nectar’s exposed portion forming a mess can attract bees. The bees then feed on the nectar that has leaks. Hence, you should clean the feeder daily. It’s only going to take 30-60 seconds. Its grateful shape makes it easy to handle.

9. Stop Leakage

One of the primary reasons why you cannot keep bees away from these hummingbird feeders is the leakages. So, you cannot just leave your feeder unchecked for leakages or slits for several days.

  • As sugar water drips, it is going to invite insects such as ants or bees to the feeders. A minor leak is not a problem but if drips are large and constant, you have to stop the flow.
  • A good seal between the feeder ports and the bottle reservoir will do the trick. Use a plumber’s tape for reinforcing the seal.

Tips to Place Your Hummingbird Feeder

  • Firstly, you have to let the hummingbirds know that you are ready for them. So, place the feeder in a visible place. Place it near sheltering plants and in a spot that offers an unobstructed and wide view from another angle.
  • Hummingbirds do not like staying out in the open when they aren’t feeding. So, make sure you place the feeder 10-15 feet away from a shrub or tree. Stay out of the sun and ensure they have a place to rest.
  • Place the feeder in an area where you get to see them come and go. Also, you have to place it in a place where it’s convenient for you to reach out.

Remember, not all insects are bad, even when they visit the feeders occasionally. Bees should be kept away as it can help to pollinate flowers. This, in turn, attracts more birds. The insects are a good food source for other birds. With simple techniques, you can manage your hummingbird feeders.

Why are honey bees swarming my hummingbird feeder?

Just like hummingbirds, bees, wasps, yellow jackets, and other stinging things love sugar water. In late summer, they can swarm a nectar feeder, deterring or even driving off hummingbirds. If the outside of your feeder is sweet and sticky, it will draw bees.

Does peppermint keep bees away from hummingbird feeders?

Some bird lovers claim that peppermint extract doesn’t bother hummers but discourages bees and wasps. Dab the minty stuff on the feeding ports and where the bottle attaches to the feeder. Repeat the process after a rainfall. You can also try putting a peppermint plant near the feeder.

Do bees bother hummingbirds at the feeder?

Each fall, people are concerned about bees and wasps competing with hummingbirds at feeders. The most common are bees, wasps, and ants. Other insects such as moths and earwigs may also be attracted to nectar. A feeder with too many bugs becomes contaminated and can keep hummers away.

Can bees hurt hummingbirds?

Bees help pollinate flowers that can attract even more birds, and all these insects can be valuable food sources for other birds. Simple, safe techniques can manage insects so they do not bother hummingbird feeders while still remaining as a valuable part of a natural ecosystem.

What will keep bees away?

Bees also have a distaste for lavender oil, citronella oil, olive oil, vegetable oil, lemon, and lime. These are all topical defenses you can add to your skin to keep bees away. Unlike other flying insects, bees are not attracted to the scent of humans; they are just curious by nature.

Will vinegar repel bees?

Distilled Vinegar

This ingredient can be used to keep bees out of your garden or house. Place small, open containers of white distilled vinegar around the garden to prevent bees from hovering around. Also, use distilled vinegar to wipe out birdhouses and hummingbird feeders after they’ve been emptied to repel bees.

Do dryer sheets repel bees?

Dryer SheetsBees and wasps dislike the scent of dryer sheets. Spread them around the picnic area, give them to guests to put in their pockets or rub the scent on skin and clothing. Hanging them around the picnic area will warn bees and wasps to keep away from the site.

What smell do bees and wasps hate?

How do I keep bees away from my porch?

Wasps have a strong sense of smell, which they use to find food sources. You can take advantage of this trait by using scents they dislike, such as peppermint, lemongrass, clove, and geranium essential oils, vinegar, sliced cucumber, bay leaves, scented herbs, and geranium flowers.

What can I spray to keep bees away?

Peppermint, basil, eucalyptus, lemongrass, citronella, and pennyroyal repel bees. Consider growing peppermint or basil near your porch or in pots along your deck to keep them away.

How do I keep bees and wasps off my porch?

  • Combine 2 or 3 teaspoons of liquid soap with water in your spray bottle.
  • Add a few drops of peppermint oil to your mixture.
  • Add 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to your mixture.
  • Spray this around your doors, windows, decks, patios, and so on to keep your outside events buzz-free.

How do I get rid of bees without killing them?

Make a Natural Repellent Spray

Peppermint, clove, lemongrass, and geranium oils deter wasps. The same goes for white vinegar. If you want to keep wasps away or discourage them from building nests in specific areas, natural repellent sprays are a great choice.

What can I spray on wood to keep wasps away?

Cinnamon: If you find a hive and want the bees to relocate without killing them, consider sprinkling cinnamon around their hive every day for about a week. The smell will send the bees looking for a place to relocate.

Does vinegar keep wasps away?

Combine liquid hand soap and water in a spray bottle. Keep this on hand whenever you are outside on your deck or next to any wood structure the wasps seem to favor. Spray the wasps with the mixture; this works to repel the insect from the area.

How do you make homemade wasp repellent?

Natural Wasp Repellents: Vinegar and Other Essentials

Mixing together common household ingredients can be an inexpensive and effective way to remove wasps. Vinegar, for example, can be used to create a water trap. Alternatively, white vinegar mixed with equal parts water can be used as a spray to keep the wasps away.

How do I keep bees and wasps off my deck?

Mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Use this to spray any wasps that try to get near you or that are inside your home. If you have chili peppers in your home, this is a simple and potentially very effective repellent. Simply chop up two peppers and combine them with three cups of water.

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