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I found this recently in my Country Wisdom book, and decided to share it because it really works great at my house! We have hummingbird feeders hanging on our porch and noticed that the yellow jackets were volatile to humans and my poor hummers! So, upon reading how to make hummingbird nectar, it also had how to deter bees.
First of all the nectar recipe is: 1 part water to 3 parts sugar, cook until it comes to a nice boil, but not rolling, then simmer on low 5 minutes. Let cool and pour into container. This will keep for a week in the fridge, if it turns cloudy throw it out.
Okay, now around the holes of your feeder put Vaseline or oil (I prefer Vaseline) with either your finger or Q-tip or small spatula. Hope this helps.
Source: Country Wisdom
By Henrietta B. from Westminster, SC
The best solution I have found for keeping bees and wasps away from hummingbird feeders is mint extract of some sort. After I wash the feeders, and before I fill them, I take a Q-tip, dip it in the extract, and apply it to the ports. I also apply to the edge where the bottle comes in contact with the bottom, and, if applicable, along the seal created when putting top and bottoms together.
This simple solution worked the first time I used it and has worked ever since. Using extracts can be costly. My tiny bottle lasted for over three years, and yes, it froze during the winter months.
I haven't tried rubbing fresh mint leaves to the ports, etc., but I am sure this would also work.
Source: I cannot recall exactly where online I found this solution. Perhaps hummingbird(s).net
By Leeanne C. from Clio, MI
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Here are questions related to Keeping Bees Out of the Hummingbird Feeder.
We have honey bees in our hummingbird feeders. We have the feeders with the red flowers which someone suggested would keep bees and yellow jackets away, but it doesn't work. Any other suggestions will be appreciated.
By Clyde N
By Jane 09/13/2011
They sell little caps for the feeders that don't allow the bees or wasps to penetrate the water. I bought a set of them for just a few dollars at the Backyard Bird Shop here in Portland.
I need to know how to keep bees away from my hummingbird feeders. I have two hanging in my yard and the bees just all of a sudden showed up one day a couple of weeks ago and now the poor hummers can't get a drink in edge wise. I have to hose them down just to be able to get the feeders down to refill them.
They have even found a way to get inside the feeders, then they float to the top and paddle around until they die or until I open it to refill it, then they are in my kitchen and I have to battle them with the fly swatter! I have already been stung twice and I really enjoy watching the hummers and would hate to have to take down the feeders.
By tntme from Long Beach, CA
By tntme 09/10/2011
Thanks I will have to check into it but I'm in a very rural area and I think they are just wild bees. But you are probably right about getting a new feeder.
I have been using vegetable oil around the holes to keep bees off. It really works! It is very sticky when cleaning though. Has anyone else tried this?
By Mainehummerluver from Bridgton, ME
By audi 07/31/2011
If you get feeders where the feeder part is deep and the sugar water is not to close the bees will not be interested in the feeder. the color of the flower part has nothing to do with it, the bees smell the sugar. if they cant get to it they wont come back. the oil is not good overall to the bees but not good for the hummingbirds either.its not going to kill them but this will help keep down any uneccessary things to our critters to help keep them healthy! but the yes the oil does help on our two fancy favorite feeders (we have since put up)but the others we make sure the the feeder part is deep. hope this helps when you buy feeders in the future.
When I hang my hummers food trays, all I get is bees and wasps. What can I do? And no matter where I hang it, they come.
Even considering using bug spray on your feeder is incomprehensible to me... bees are becoming endangered and should be protected. There are plastic caps available at most garden shops for a few bucks.
Would anyone know of any homemade solutions or handy tips on how to keep yellow jackets away from hummingbird feeders?
By Beverly from Easley, SC
In one of the posts there is a link to "First Nature" web site. Upon reading the post and clinking on the link I found the feeders as suggested. It wasn't until I got to the check out that I noticed a problem. They charge you the price of the feeder for the shipping! So, the feeder just doubled in price. (Even if they state that this is an "estimated shipping cost" they are still charging that amount at check-out). Do not use this link.
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.
I have Bees in my Hummingbird Feeder. Does anyone know what can be done about this problem? I think there is a ground nest nearby, but it is in neighbor's yard. Or suppose it is not a ground nest, what can I do?
Take a 2 litre plastic pop bottle and cut an upside down T about 3/4 of the way up the bottle on both sides. Make it one inch long and high. Gently push the flaps inward, you now have a triangle looking shape. Don't push them in too far just leave a small opening enough for the bee to crawl in. Punch two small holes in the cap and thread a string through to hang it up. Fill the bottle with a can of cola. The bee's are attracted to the pop, they crawl in and can't get out (09/17/2005)
Does anyone have an idea as to how to keep bees away from hummingbird feeder?
Hardiness Zone: 5b
DONNA from Millbury, OH
I take a cotton ball and soak it with baby oil, and rub the little chain at the top with it to keep ants from climbing down and getting into the ports. For bees, I rub some around the ports. The bees don't like it, and they leave it alone. (09/26/2007)
By Renee ONeill
We have hummingbird feeders and its horrible to see the little hummingbirds trying to eat at the feeders with all the bees. No matter how many feeders I put out the bees are all over the feeders.
I have hummingbird feeders and the honey bees and bumble bees are taking it over. The hummingbirds cannot feed. Please tell me how to get rid of the bees.
By leveta from TN
I am looking for a solution to keep bees and yellow jackets away from my Humming Bird feeders. I had a Thrifty tip about a brown paper bag, but lost it. Please help. Thanks.
By Bevvie from Placerville, Ca
How can I get rid of honey bees at humming bird feeders? The bees chase the hummers away. They completely cover the feeders.