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
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
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
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.
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
This worked great for me, and my own idea too. My feeder has about 6 yellow flowers with holes to feed the hummingbirds. I took the bottom section off and split it open, as in cleaning. This gave me access to the "other side" of the flowers. I put cellophane tape over each hole. Then on the "right side" of the flowers, I mixed some epoxy and filled every hole. The tape kept the expoxy from running out the other side. When fully cured, I removed the tape and using a carefully chosen drill bit size, I drilled through the epoxy. This made a feeding hole smaller than original. I can't remember the size bit, but it was smaller than original and about 3/32 inch. I am happy to say the hole is big enough to feed the hummers but the yellow jackets can't fit. It works great. The bees finally gave up and went away. There's still a few around, but this has been a huge success.
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
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.
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.
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
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 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
Jodi from Texas
Here are my ideas for keeping bees, wasps, and other stinging insects away from your hummingbird feeders.
First, keep in mind that it's never safe to use any chemicals to control insects at birdfeeders. That's a given of course, but it needs to be stated anyway. Any flying insects (yes, even the wasps) that choose to feed on hummingbird nectar are likely to play an important role in pollination. In the case of bees, swarming to the feeder for nectar is usually a transient problem. This isn't always the case with other stinging insects, but bees tend to flock to feeders only when other food supplies are low (e.g. few open flowers or lack of rain).
Many people have found that applying cooking oils and sprays to the outside of the feeder ports deters bees, wasps, and other insects. Be very careful if you do this. These tiny birds expend enormous amounts of energy. They need to feed constantly and have little margin for error when it comes to making a livelihood. Oil that accidentally gets on the hummingbird while feeding or during feeder fights can spell disaster when it comes time to preen their feathers. Birds produce their own oils for preening and additional oils can cause their feathers to become matted, which reduces their ability to fly and keep warm. If you decide to use oil on your feeder, please use it with caution.
About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com
By John B
For ants, using 6 pound monofilament fishing line, with or without ant moats improvised from plastic bottle caps, works fine. (08/01/2008)
For hummingbirds a 4-1 ratio is good, too sweet will attract more bees than birds. Then after hanging clean off drips or spills, I like to spray them off with water from a spray bottle. Any little drip or spill will attract some bees. That should do it, but if not, hang another feeder nearby (not too close) containing a much sweeter mixture and the bees will move to that feeder leaving yours to the birds. For more information check out our website at "The Hummingbird Store".
Enjoy the Flying Jewels! (01/08/2009)
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.