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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

Use Mint Extract to Deter Wasps from FeederThe 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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September 26, 20160 found this helpful
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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, 20162 found this helpful
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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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September 17, 20160 found this helpful
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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.

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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.

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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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September 24, 20160 found this helpful
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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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September 3, 20160 found this helpful
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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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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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