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Bees on Hummingbird Feeder

My brother insists that 100+ bees drained his hummingbird feeder within minutes, and I say this is impossible. Anyone have an answer for this?

By B. Jones

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April 9, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

Definitely can happen! Bees can empty a hum feeder and quickly. I have not seen it happen myself but my husband has and he is an entomologist.

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Anonymous Flag
December 5, 20150 found this helpful

I have seen just a few drain my little feeder real quick :o

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Anonymous Flag
May 21, 20160 found this helpful

Bees swarmed on a hummingbird feeder today that I just filled two days ago and it was empty in just a little while.

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Anonymous Flag
May 25, 20160 found this helpful

Yes.......they can.....they would empty mine 2 times a day.....I found out there is a bee keeper up the road from me.....so I stopped putting the feeder out......

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July 23, 20160 found this helpful

That is what I am going through right now as fast as I fill my feeder the bees take over within about 5-6 hrs they drain the feeder I am at a loss don't know what to do about it

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August 19, 20160 found this helpful

We saw it happen to ours!!! Now the yj's are so bad we can't even go out to gather the feeders.

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August 21, 20160 found this helpful

Bees have drained both feeders in 36hrs. I have a large pool and that also brings them in. I've tried the peppermint maybe not enough. I want my birds back! Need better answer to bee question?

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August 24, 20160 found this helpful

Would it work to add mint to the hummingbird nectar? Would the birds mind?

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September 8, 20160 found this helpful

It's amazing watching the bees eating from humming bird feeders.

It always happens this time of year here in South Dakota.

Last year, I worried because it was to many of them.

But, I have to feed the hum-birds. Lene.

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September 11, 20160 found this helpful

I have that problem and have see them empty the feeder in one day , what a pest the are...

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January 16, 20170 found this helpful

We had that happen twice last summer. Hundreds of bees drained a full feeder in about 15 minutes. Trying to find a way to keep them away come summer.

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July 22, 20161 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have honey bees and hummers. The solution that has worked for me is to use a bee feeder close to Hummer feeder. These can be found at bee supply stores or online. Instead of the recommenced 4 to 1 Hummer mix, the bee feeder uses a 50/50 mix more suited to honey bees and yellow jackets. The design of bee feeder only accommodate insects, thus draws the pest from the Hummer feeders, also water cup or barrier holding water prevents ants from crawling to Hummer feeders.

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September 4, 20160 found this helpful

I've had a lot of bees and wasp taken over my hummingbird feeder, and I've sprayed vegetable oil, like Pam on the feeder and no more bees and wasp, I'm just hoping the hum birds show back up

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April 9, 20150 found this helpful

We have a lot of hummingbird feeders out and yes the bees can drain it in minutes.

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April 16, 20150 found this helpful

I never would have believed it if I hadn't seen it for myself. If you get a good swarm of bees on your hummingbird feeder, they will drain it very quickly. I had my feeder up in the morning, left for about 4 hours no bees. Came home 4 hours later and the feeder was covered in bees. Left again, came home 3 hours later and the feeder was completely drained. My husband had been watching the feeder most of that time. The hummingbirds were also drinking, but not like the bees were. So, yes it is definitely possible for bees to completely drain the hummingbird feeder in just a matter of hours. We only had one or two hummingbirds during that time.

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August 26, 20150 found this helpful

I actually have the answer for you!! It's not bees as I had a honey bee hive by one of my feeders and even when there were what seemed like hundreds they didn't drain it. The feeder was always drained at night. This summer I caught both of the culprits. A Possum and a Raccoon. I watched both of them on separate occasions drain the entire feeder in minutes. They both climbed the tree, and with there front paws tip the feeder sideways, and when the sugar water would pour out they would drink the entire bottle. The raccoon was so good at it, she could drink it within minutes, and even though they are nocturnal the Raccoon would come during the day. She was actually nursing babies and was practically starving as construction and people have depleted their food source. So I started feeding her dry cat food (please no lectures about the Raccoon) and would bring the feeder in at night. Problem solved.

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August 19, 20160 found this helpful

While I caught 6 racoons at one of our feeders, it didn't drain it and I, in fact, chased them away with a simple knock on the door, it was in fact the yellow jackets that drained our feeder as we sat and watched on and off for hours

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Anonymous Flag
January 1, 20160 found this helpful

Definitely bees. I'm sitting here now watching my feeder which is abuzz with bees. It was full this morning and is now

almost completely drained.

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January 11, 20161 found this helpful

It is possible! I've fought the little demons for years. Going to try the mint hint.

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July 2, 20160 found this helpful

I have tried the mint trick over and over and it hasn't worked for me.

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Anonymous Flag
January 28, 20160 found this helpful

Yes they will! Bees lower my nectar about 3" " per day!

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Anonymous Flag
March 7, 20160 found this helpful

It can happen. We had bee's swarm our hummingbird feeder and you could actually see the nectar disappearing.

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Anonymous Flag
March 19, 20160 found this helpful

Those pictured are wasps. Bees are not aggressive feeder attackers. Set up actual wasp traps near the feeders.

Bees are a dying species we need to help in our gardens.

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Anonymous Flag
May 13, 20160 found this helpful

Yes, it happened to my feeders. I didn't do my homework and used a feeder with yellow flowers.

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July 3, 20160 found this helpful

It happens to us every time we put out the hummingbird feeder with fresh nectar. The bees go through 8 ounces in a couple of hours, sucking it absolutely dry. The bees make it impossible for the dozen or so hummers we took delight in feeding, while watching them fly around our porch. They had gotten quite tame. We used to have two nests in our potted Ficus trees, but they have left. Miss our hummingbirds! Damn bees!

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July 19, 20160 found this helpful

I have had them emptied in 2days, but the woodpecker helped. I want something to deter them.

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July 28, 20160 found this helpful

Last week I watched a dish of nectar disappear with in 7 minutes. I wish I had a video of it to show you. Literally hundreds of honey bee's sucked it dry.

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July 30, 20161 found this helpful

I put some mint leaves in a small bowl and crushed then added a 1/4 t corn oil and microwaved for 20 seconds. I rubbed the bottom of the hummingbird feeder. I haven't seen a bee or wasp in weeks. I do this every time I refill feeders.

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August 6, 20160 found this helpful

I found the same thing at my feeders! Honeybees!! Not wanting to harm them I did as suggested with peppermint oil on a q-tip and the honeybees did not like the odor. Worked for me! Thanks!

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August 8, 20160 found this helpful

Minutes might be exaggeration, but within 1/2 hour I believe. That's about how long it takes them to drain mine

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August 9, 20160 found this helpful

I've been watching this happen for the last 2 days at my feeder. I don't know why there are so many honeybees - I've never had this problem before. They pretty much emptied a whole 8 oz feeder in 24 hours. I just took it down.

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August 10, 20160 found this helpful

It is possible as I am watching it happen right now to mine. What can I do? I have hosed down the bees but they just come back? My dog chases them and don't want her stung.

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August 21, 20160 found this helpful

Yes, within an hour after filling my hummingbird feeder, I could not even see the base or "flowers" on the feeder for the hundreds of bees on it. The feeder that had been full one hour prior, was empty down to the portals.

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August 26, 20160 found this helpful

So true it happened to me with in a day and a half. Full to to top then bone dry shortly afterward s

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Anonymous Flag
August 29, 20160 found this helpful

He's correct!

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September 1, 20160 found this helpful

It is entirely possible. It is food for them.

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September 3, 20160 found this helpful

I just watched mine go from galf full to empty in two hours hundreds of bees sworming

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September 6, 20160 found this helpful

Yes this can happen I have seen it at my feeder. Mint extract works, but you have to be vigilant and put it on at least every other day or when you notice the bees are getting on the feeder again I find the bees will stop feeding evening.

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Anonymous Flag
September 23, 20160 found this helpful

It happened to a friend, she put a shallow plate w/sugar water away from hummer feeders and the bees left them alone.

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September 24, 20160 found this helpful

I'm watching a large group of bees do it right now!

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September 24, 20160 found this helpful

I'm watching a large group of bees do it right now!

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November 7, 20160 found this helpful

yes they can, I sat and watched my feeder and saw within 2 hours the bees drained my feeder. I am trying to find a way to feed my hummies and not the bees.

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November 11, 20160 found this helpful

Can confirm, this has been an ongoing battle for 3 days now. They swarm it and drain it astonishingly fast.

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January 30, 20170 found this helpful

Definitely can happen. I live in So Cal (Orange County). I feel for the bee's as they are starving due to the drought and other factors (poison). I try and put sugary feeders up for the bee's and less sugary ones for the hummers and it used to work until this year. The bee's are everywhere; they are in all of my 20 yard hummer feeders. I cannot hurt them, they are beneficial bugs that pollinate and make honey.

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