How to Keep Bees Off Hummingbird Feeders


Hummingbirds love the sweet syrup in the hummingbird feeder, but often, the sugary treat attracts uninvited guests, especially bees. Once one bee finds the feeder, the hive members will soon follow, and before you know it, they can become so numerous at the feeder that the hummingbirds will give up and go elsewhere. Although most bees are harmless and should be welcomed to the garden, there are ways to convince bees to leave the hummingbird feeder to the hummingbirds.

Step 1

Remove any yellow from the hummingbird feeder, or purchase a feeder with no yellow. Bees love the color yellow.

Step 2

Dilute the syrup you put in the hummingbird feeder. A mixture of five parts water to one part sugar is still sweet enough for hummingbirds, but may not be as tasty to bees.

Step 3

Clean the hummingbird feeder regularly. Sugar water that has fermented or that has become thick and sticky in the sun will be especially attractive to bees. Change the mixture at least once each week during warm weather.

Step 4

Place the hummingbird feeder in the shade -- bees prefer sunlight.

Step 5

Call a beekeeper if the bees become a serious problem.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never use any type of insecticide on or near a hummingbird feeder. While it may kill bees, it can also kill hummingbirds. Never use oils in an attempt to keep bees away. This includes petroleum jelly, skin oils or any substance that can stick to feathers and keep birds from flying.


  • Bees and Ants at Hummingbird Feeders
  • Keep Bees Away from the Birdfeeder
  • Hummingbird Feeders
Keywords: hummingbird feeder, bees, sugar water

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a longtime writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the "East-Oregonian Newspaper" and "See Jane Run" magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.