Keeping Bees Out of the 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.
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November 2, 2011 Flag

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.
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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

September 26, 20160 found this helpful

Crushed mint leaves worked for me, within 10 minutes one of my feeders was bee free.

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October 17, 20160 found this helpful

Mint only attracted more bees to my feeder! This solution does not work! I have finally given up and taken all my hummer feeders down.

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October 24, 20160 found this helpful

September 10, 2011 Flag
0 found this helpful

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

September 13, 20111 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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June 2, 20163 found this helpful
Best Answer

We had 19 feeders, and 15 hummingbirds that enjoyed them every day for years, and when the bees came, every single hummingbird left within a few days. We then bought the feeders with the bee guards on them, and those don't work for nothing! Finally, we bought what they call Flat Feeders, and those WORK. The bees absolutely cannot, at all, get to the juice and the bees will continue checking to see if they can for a day or two, then they'll leave as they see there's nothing there for them.

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November 12, 20160 found this helpful

July 14, 2014 Flag
8 found this helpful

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.

Hummingbird Feeder With Bees

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April 8, 2015 Flag
3 found this helpful

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

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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July 22, 20161 found this helpful
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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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November 11, 20160 found this helpful

June 3, 2015 Flag
6 found this helpful

I have had a lot of problems with yellow jackets, ants, and paper wasps around my hummingbird feeder. To solve this problem I took a strip of cotton and sprayed it with Raid Hornet and Wasp spray. You only want to dampen the cotton. Then I enclosed it in an onion bag, those mesh or net bags onions come in.

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July 31, 2011 Flag
3 found this helpful

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

July 31, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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Anonymous Flag
April 27, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

I'm trying aquaphor instead of Vaseline. It's slippery but made of water with nothing such as oil or preservatives, so far, so good. 

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October 7, 20160 found this helpful

May 9, 2009 Flag
0 found this helpful

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

Anonymous Flag
March 13, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

I wrap one of those fly-catcher strips around the very top of the hanging wire and the ants will not cross over it. It has never harmed by hummingbirds either! We have those big, black ants, but this stops them!

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June 9, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

I put dab of vaseline on the hangers. Works like a charm on the ants. Beekeepers on the feeding ports keeps out the bees too! Hummers are happy! ! !

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July 24, 20161 found this helpful
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September 8, 2010 Flag
1 found this helpful

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

September 10, 20101 found this helpful
Best Answer

I use mint extract, purchased from the baking aisle of my local grocery. I dip a Q-tip into the extract, then paint the ports, both top and bottom, with the extract. I also smear it randomly on the feeder as well as where the bottle attaches to the base. The yellow jackets ignore the feeders, until it rains. Then you may have to repeat the process, something I always do when I change the nectar water.

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October 3, 20102 found this helpful
Best Answer

The bees are attracted to the yellow part of the flower. That's all there is to it. I have purchased so many feeders in search of one that is easy to clean. I noticed that the ones with the yellow part in the flower (I have), the bees take it over. The ones that are only red. . .NO BEES! No ants. I put all the feeders with the yellow on one side of the house, and the others on the kitchen side so I can watch while I cook etc.

Oh, and speaking of trying to clean those horrible small holed feeders. Through the years I have been buying so many brushes that I thought would get through the bottle neck. Spent tons of moolah. Guess what I ran into on the net?! Feeders that have the neck large enough for not only a baby bottle brush, but larger! Even the bottom part comes apart in a snap so I can scrub it totally inside and out. The main part that holds the sugar water is clear so you can see how clean it is and the feeding part is completely red! You bet! No bees! I got two of them from the net.

http://www.firstnature.net

Check it out. There are 10 portals. YES. They all do get used at once! The 16oz was 9.99. They have an ant thingy for 3.99. Oriole feeder for 12.99. Need to get me some. Their beaks are too big for the hummingbird feeder and like I said, the bees took theirs over. The Oriole feeder also does not have yellow on it. I have to fix 6 cups of nectar each day to keep up with them cuties. Of course I have not used that red nectar stuff they sell for a pretty price. 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. You can get 25 lbs of sugar from Smart & Final for $12.39. In California anyway. Some states are higher/lower than others.

Happy Humming

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Anonymous Flag
April 26, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

July 14, 2014 Flag
1 found this helpful

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

Hummingbird Feeder

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August 25, 2016 Flag
0 found this helpful

I have hummers every year, I can get ants and bees away from the feeders, but I have the black and white bald face hornets, they are really nasty! I have tried smaller holes and moving the feeders, but I just can't get rid of them and the hummers are afraid of them big time, any suggestions?

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January 7, 2015 Flag
0 found this helpful

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.

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