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Keeping Bees Out of the Hummingbird Feeder

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Bee on Hummingbird Feeder

Bees and hummingbirds are often found in the same places in your garden. However, if you are putting out food for the hummingbirds it can attract an unwanted amount of bees. This is a guide about keeping bees out of he hummingbird feeder.


Solutions: Keeping Bees Out of the Hummingbird Feeder

Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Tip: Getting Rid of Yellow Jackets and Ants on Hummingbird Feeders

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

Tip: Use Mint Extract to Deter Wasps from Feeder

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

Tip: Protecting Hummingbird Feeders

I have been reading about a variety of ideas for keeping ants, etc., out of hummingbird feeders. I have cared for hummingbirds for over 30 years and I've tried just about everything out there.

I have two of the very largest Perky Pet Hummingbird feeders made. Each year we end up with between 20 to 30 hummingbirds. The best things we've done is to hang the feeders from the eaves of the house with a pully that allows me to raise and lower the feeders to change their feed, which is at least once a day in each. To get to the wire that the feeders hang from, first the ants have to climb across our brick wall and up the drain spout to get to the point from which the feeders hang. From there, they can climb down. But I beat them to the punch by dusting the wall and the drain spout with Sevin Dust. I don't like killing the ants, but they seem to get the point after a while and don't bother the feeders anymore after that.

Flying insects, especially wasps, are a different matter. Since one of my feeders hangs in front of my kitchen window, I have a good view of them. As soon as I see one buzzing around the feeder, I go outside with a flyswatter.

Keep all sorts of poisons, and other deterents, like oils, etc., away from the feeders and their hangers. My birds perch on the lines, as well as the cord the hangers hang from while waiting their turn to the feeders. Anything they pick up on their little feet can easly wind up in their beaks, or be carried back to the little ones in the nests.

    By Gypsy Swan [1]

    Using Hummingbird Feeders

    Hummingbird FeederThis is a guide about using hummingbird feeders. Making sure your feeders are free of insects and clean are important for the hummingbirds.

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    Here are questions related to Keeping Bees Out of the Hummingbird Feeder.

    Question: Keeping Bees Out of Hummingbird Feeder

    Bees are going to the coloured sugar water I hang from the tress for the birds, near their food. How can I prevent or distract the bees from taking over the bottle? They get angry if I chase them away.

    By Fiona

    Question: Honey Bees and Hummingbird Feeders

    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


    Most Recent Answer

    By Jane [2]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.

    Question: Keeping Bees Away from Hummingbird Feeder

    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


    Most Recent Answer

    By tntme [2]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.

    Question: Keeping Bees Off Hummingbird Feeders

    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

    Most Recent Answer

    By audi [2]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.

    Question: Keeping Bees and Wasps Out of Hummingbird Feeders

    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.
    Thank you.

    By Lorraine

    Most Recent Answer

    By gunsonaj05/19/2013

    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.

    Question: Keeping Bees Away from a Hummingbird Feeder

    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

    Most Recent Answer

    By Angel5906/14/2013

    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.

    Question: Ants and Wasps in Bird Feeders

    How do I keep ants from getting into my bird feeders? I have gone to clean them out and had literally thousands of ants come out of them. Also, any suggestions on keeping wasps and other creatures away from the hummingbird feeders?

    Hardiness Zone: 8a

    By Cricketnc from Parkton, NC

    Most Recent Answer

    By Roxie Munn [2]08/06/2012

    The fishing line & the petroleum jelly did not work for me. Nor the brown bag for the wasp. I think i'll try the water moot next.


    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.

    Archive: Bees in Hummingbird Feeder

    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?


    RE: Bees in Hummingbird Feeder

    I have the same problem. We make bee bombs:

    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)

    By PICO

    Archive: Keeping Bees Away from a Hummingbird Feeder

    Does anyone have an idea as to how to keep bees away from hummingbird feeder?

    Hardiness Zone: 5b

    DONNA from Millbury, OH

    RE: Keeping Bees Away from a Hummingbird Feeder

    If your feeder has yellow flowers on the ports, turn them red with nail polish or replace the feeder with one without any yellow on it. I always had the same problem until this year. I purchased a new feeder and its ports were all red. There was no yellow on the feeder at all. Later I read an article about this new feeder which said that yellow attracts bees, thus the manufacturer eliminated yellow. It worked. I did not have any bees or wasps at the feeder this year. (08/28/2007)

    By charscorner

    RE: Keeping Bees Away from a Hummingbird Feeder

    Spray the feeder with "Pam" oil. The stuff that keeps food from sticking. A lodge owner who has about 15 Hummingbird feeder just told me this last week. (08/31/2007)

    By Dave

    RE: Keeping Bees Away from a Hummingbird Feeder

    Don't kill the bees! You're likely to kill honey bees that way, and with the major decline in the vitally important honey bee population, we need all the bees we can get.

    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)

    RE: Keeping Bees Away from a Hummingbird Feeder

    We had at least 30 bees on our feeder yesterday. We sprayed it, washed it out well, then put crisco oil on it. So far, not 1 bee today. (04/12/2008)

    By Renee ONeill

    Archive: Keeping Bees Away from a Hummingbird Feeder

    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.


    Archive: Keeping Bees Away from a Hummingbird Feeder

    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

    RE: Keeping Bees Away from a Hummingbird Feeder

    Don't fill your feeder much. I change my nectar once every day or two. I only put the nectar in so that there is a couple of inches above the bottom of the bottle, where the feeding tray is. They always have nice, fresh nectar and it's not sitting there to get buggy. (07/13/2009)

    By kathyj311

    RE: Keeping Bees Away from a Hummingbird Feeder

    I've got one better; I've got a woodpecker that's visiting my feeder. I have one of those bee/wasp catchers near my feeder and the bees go for that. (07/14/2009)

    By mom of towers

    Archive: Keeping Bees Away from a Hummingbird Feeder

    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

    RE: Keeping Bees Away from a Hummingbird Feeder

    I had the same problem as most of you, so my husband went to the local hardware store and got Sterling RESCUE yellow jacket trap for about $13.00. Boy does it ever work. In one day we caught a bunch of them. The Hummingbirds are now happy. (08/12/2009)

    By Bevvie

    RE: Keeping Bees Away from a Hummingbird Feeder

    Keeping bees away from your hummingbird feeder is actually a very easy fix and you don't need to use dangerous oils. True hummingbird feeders have holes in the flowers too small for the bees to get the nectar. I have one that was also for larger birds as well, but the feeding holes were large enough for the bees to crawl into so I had to cover the holes with sticky back covering and make my own smaller holes in the center of the covering so that the bees cannot fit into. I painted around the covering with yellow acrylic paint so it still looks like a flower. Works great and no more bees. Hummingbirds are all happy. (08/20/2009)

    By RoxyCares

    Archive: Keeping Bees Away from a Hummingbird Feeder

    How can I get rid of honey bees at humming bird feeders? The bees chase the hummers away. They completely cover the feeders.