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
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.
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.
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.
I have that exact feeder and I have yellow jackets!!! That is why I am on here, looking for the answer.
Today is the very first time I have had anything other then ants and the humming birds, I call them flying peanuts, really do not like the yellow jackets. It is as if they are guarding the feeder and swarm the birds.
I have the same exact feeder; clear, square bottle, no yellow ports. I take it apart EVERY night after sundown to clean little bee & wasp corpses out of it. 27 last night. I move the feeder periodically, to a different place on our balcony, but that only gives a day or so of reprieve.
Yellow Jackets are from the wasp species. They are not bees. The yellow jackets will die off at the end of summer. The queen will fly away to start a new nest, but they will return next year from a different nest.
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.
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.
You can buy these same feeders on amazon and get free shipping with certain conditions (amazon prime or minimum order). If you live in Texas, HEB has a feeder called the best hummingbird feeder ever. It is inexpensive, the bottle is glass, and I am watching the bees going to the other feeder I have and leaving this one alone for the hummingbirds.
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