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How to Keep Bees Off a Hummingbird Feeder

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How to Keep Bees Off a Hummingbird Feeder

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Bees are attracted to the yellow plastic flowers on many feeders. image by Bruce Brouwer: sxc.hu

Overview

Like hummingbirds, bees feed on nectar and are attracted to the sugar solution in hummingbird feeders. Bees drive hummers away, so it is important to make your feeder unattractive to bees while still keeping it easily accessible to hummingbirds. Choose one of several ways to keep bees away, or combine methods to solve larger bee problems. Bee resistant feeders are available, but you can also modify the ones you already own.

Step 1

Choose a drip-proof feeder. Dripping or spilled nectar tells bees where your feeder is. Basin style feeders are less likely to drip than bottle styles.

Step 2

Attach bee mesh over the feeding tray. The mesh is wide enough for a hummer to access nectar, but not wide enough for bees to get through.

Step 3

Take the feeder down completely for one to two days and then hang it back up to fool the bees into thinking their food source is gone.

Step 4

Move the feeder to a new location. Hummingbirds are likely to find the feeder in a new location, but bees often won't.

Step 5

Feed the bees. Fill a small basin or saucer with 1 part sugar to 3 parts water and set away from the hummingbird feeder for the bees. Use a weaker sugar solution in the hummingbird feeder---1 part sugar to 5 parts water. Bees prefer a higher sugar content than hummers and will be drawn to the basin instead of the feeder.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not place oil on the feeder ports or perches. This gums up the hummingbird's wings making it difficult for them to fly. Never use insecticide because it is fatal to hummingbirds.

Things You'll Need

  • Bee mesh
  • Basin
  • Sugar
  • Water

References

  • HowToEnjoyHummingbirds.com
  • WorldOfHummingbirds.com
Keywords: hummingbird feeder pests, bee control, bee resistant feeders

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.

Photo by: Bruce Brouwer: sxc.hu