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
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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.
I have seen just a few drain my little feeder real quick :o
Bees swarmed on a hummingbird feeder today that I just filled two days ago and it was empty in just a little while.
Yes.......they can.....they would empty mine 2 times a day.....I found out there is a bee keeper up the road from me.....so I stopped putting the feeder out......
That is what I am going through right now as fast as I fill my feeder the bees take over within about 5-6 hrs they drain the feeder I am at a loss don't know what to do about it
We saw it happen to ours!!! Now the yj's are so bad we can't even go out to gather the feeders.
Bees have drained both feeders in 36hrs. I have a large pool and that also brings them in.
Would it work to add mint to the hummingbird nectar? Would the birds mind?
It's amazing watching the bees eating from humming bird feeders.
It always happens this time of year here in South Dakota.
Last year, I worried because it was to many of them.
But, I have to feed the hum-birds. Lene.
I have that problem and have see them empty the feeder in one day , what a pest the are...
We had that happen twice last summer. Hundreds of bees drained a full feeder in about 15 minutes.
Yes they can empty a feeder seen it couldn't even go out on the porch there were so many my hummers aren't back yet I'm afraid they might not be back the bees were awful last year !
Mine was drained pretty fast. And it was covered with the bees. They actually get this little yellow flowers off.
Honey bees consumed 3 cups of sugar water in less than an hour at my feeder this afternoon.
I have honey bees and Humming bird feeders. Bees can empty a feeder in no time at all if they can get to the sugar water. I put my feeders in the shade plus plant flowers that bees love.
the bees sucked 2 cups of sugar water in 4 hours here in N FL
Mint or anything other than sugar water is not something ANY birds like. I'd tried that once from being desperate to rid the bees we had, (which were Killer Bees/Africanized Bees) - and when I saw the reactions the hummingbirds displayed, I felt horrible- because the hummingbirds hate mint, and by their reactions, it was like it burned their tongues! They cannot tolerate "mint".
If you want to feed hummingbirds, please only give the 4-1 ratio of water and sugar.
That is: 1 cup of sugar added to 4 cups of water stirred until the sugar is completely dissolved.
OR for a smaller amount of nectar, that would be:
1/2 cup sugar added to 2 cups water and stirred until dissolved.
When bees become a problem on the feeders, the only way to eliminate them is to not allow them to get to the nectar, as that is all the bees and yellow jackets are there for, nothing else.
Removing feeders only hurts the hummingbirds as they're depending on those for their fuel, and they remember everything and where each feeder is, as it's incredibly important for them to feed/fuel up, every 10-15 minutes or they'll die.
Hummingbird feeders that cannot drip the sugary juice is what will keep the bees away, since the bees are there only because they are *able* to get the juice/nectar. When the bees cannot get any juice at all, they go somewhere else as there's then no reason for them to stay. Bees are only looking for a source of food, and when remove their source of food, and they leave, every time!
The feeders that say they "Bee Guards", don't work. In fact, they're a joke! The juice/nectar still settles where the bees can get to it, as the little "guard" on the port hole is only covered, not
where the juice drips.
If anyone is interested, I'll post pictures of why those bee guards do NOT work. I love the hummers, and over the years I've learned quite a bit about them, and I'm happy to share anything someone would like help with.
It's a job taking on hummingbirds, as tiny as they are, and simple as it seems to just hang out a feeder or two, it's not really that simple. They become like kids, or babies that do need there needs attended to on a daily basis, and sometimes several times a day.
Feeders need to have the correct amount of sugar to water ratio.
I've read on the internet how some people have changed that 4 to 1 ratio, and they're actually hurting the little hummingbirds that come to eat at their feeders.
Also, cleaning out the feeders every 2 days and filling them (forever) is a chore, but...if you love the little guys, then it's a pleasure.
I have had my hummingbird feeder emptied over night and discovered it was bats
I made small bee feeders. Hung in close proximity to humming bird feeder. They barely go there. They go home when my evening and early hummingbird come. They can drain a lot of sugar water in a short time. I was amazed.
Hummingbirds really don't like mint at all, and by their reactions, they really hate it. Several years ago, I'd read that somewhere, that someone tried mint, and then I tried it too, putting mint on the feeder ports/holes where they drink from.
It doesn't work, hummers reactions are as though it burns their tongues, and just using a moat to keep ants out works 100% or, if (BEES) are the problem, use hummingbird feeders that the "drinking holes or ports" face UPwards and those do not drip, nor can the bees get to the nectar, so they don't bother with the hummingbird feeders.
Only when the feeders (drinking holes/ports) of the feeders face sideways, will the bees go for them because the nectar drips from those especially when it's warm outside.
I drew in blue arrows (facing upwards) to show how the "feeder holes/ports" need to face upwards.
These are 100% bee and wasp proof, because they cannot leak or drip.
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.
I've had a lot of bees and wasp taken over my hummingbird feeder, and I've sprayed vegetable oil, like Pam on the feeder and no more bees and wasp, I'm just hoping the hum birds show back up
We have a lot of hummingbird feeders out and yes the bees can drain it in minutes.
I never would have believed it if I hadn't seen it for myself. If you get a good swarm of bees on your hummingbird feeder, they will drain it very quickly. I had my feeder up in the morning, left for about 4 hours no bees. Came home 4 hours later and the feeder was covered in bees. Left again, came home 3 hours later and the feeder was completely drained. My husband had been watching the feeder most of that time. The hummingbirds were also drinking, but not like the bees were. So, yes it is definitely possible for bees to completely drain the hummingbird feeder in just a matter of hours. We only had one or two hummingbirds during that time.
I actually have the answer for you!! It's not bees as I had a honey bee hive by one of my feeders and even when there were what seemed like hundreds they didn't drain it. The feeder was always drained at night. This summer I caught both of the culprits. A Possum and a Raccoon. I watched both of them on separate occasions drain the entire feeder in minutes. They both climbed the tree, and with there front paws tip the feeder sideways, and when the sugar water would pour out they would drink the entire bottle. The raccoon was so good at it, she could drink it within minutes, and even though they are nocturnal the Raccoon would come during the day. She was actually nursing babies and was practically starving as construction and people have depleted their food source. So I started feeding her dry cat food (please no lectures about the Raccoon) and would bring the feeder in at night. Problem solved.
While I caught 6 racoons at one of our feeders, it didn't drain it and I, in fact, chased them away with a simple knock on the door, it was in fact the yellow jackets that drained our feeder as we sat and watched on and off for hours
Definitely bees. I'm sitting here now watching my feeder which is abuzz with bees. It was full this morning and is now
almost completely drained.
It is possible! I've fought the little demons for years. Going to try the mint hint.
Yes they will! Bees lower my nectar about 3" " per day!
It can happen. We had bee's swarm our hummingbird feeder and you could actually see the nectar disappearing.
Those pictured are wasps. Bees are not aggressive feeder attackers. Set up actual wasp traps near the feeders.
Bees are a dying species we need to help in our gardens.
Yes, it happened to my feeders. I didn't do my homework and used a feeder with yellow flowers.
It happens to us every time we put out the hummingbird feeder with fresh nectar. The bees go through 8 ounces in a couple of hours, sucking it absolutely dry. The bees make it impossible for the dozen or so hummers we took delight in feeding, while watching them fly around our porch. They had gotten quite tame. We used to have two nests in our potted Ficus trees, but they have left. Miss our hummingbirds! Damn bees!
I have had them emptied in 2days, but the woodpecker helped. I want something to deter them.
Last week I watched a dish of nectar disappear with in 7 minutes. I wish I had a video of it to show you. Literally hundreds of honey bee's sucked it dry.
I put some mint leaves in a small bowl and crushed then added a 1/4 t corn oil and microwaved for 20 seconds. I rubbed the bottom of the hummingbird feeder. I haven't seen a bee or wasp in weeks. I do this every time I refill feeders.
I found the same thing at my feeders! Honeybees!! Not wanting to harm them I did as suggested with peppermint oil on a q-tip and the honeybees did not like the odor. Worked for me! Thanks!
Minutes might be exaggeration, but within 1/2 hour I believe. That's about how long it takes them to drain mine
I've been watching this happen for the last 2 days at my feeder. I don't know why there are so many honeybees - I've never had this problem before. They pretty much emptied a whole 8 oz feeder in 24 hours. I just took it down.
It is possible as I am watching it happen right now to mine. What can I do? I have hosed down the bees but they just come back? My dog chases them and don't want her stung.
Yes, within an hour after filling my hummingbird feeder, I could not even see the base or "flowers" on the feeder for the hundreds of bees on it. The feeder that had been full one hour prior, was empty down to the portals.
So true it happened to me with in a day and a half. Full to to top then bone dry shortly afterward s
It is entirely possible. It is food for them.
I just watched mine go from galf full to empty in two hours hundreds of bees sworming
Yes this can happen I have seen it at my feeder. Mint extract works, but you have to be vigilant and put it on at least every other day or when you notice the bees are getting on the feeder again I find the bees will stop feeding evening.
It happened to a friend, she put a shallow plate w/sugar water away from hummer feeders and the bees left them alone.
I'm watching a large group of bees do it right now!
I'm watching a large group of bees do it right now!
yes they can, I sat and watched my feeder and saw within 2 hours the bees drained my feeder. I am trying to find a way to feed my hummies and not the bees.
Can confirm, this has been an ongoing battle for 3 days now. They swarm it and drain it astonishingly fast.
Definitely can happen. I live in So Cal (Orange County). I feel for the bee's as they are starving due to the drought and other factors (poison). I try and put sugary feeders up for the bee's and less sugary ones for the hummers and it used to work until this year. The bee's are everywhere; they are in all of my 20 yard hummer feeders. I cannot hurt them, they are beneficial bugs that pollinate and make honey.
I agree with your brother. I had 3 feeders out and they emptied them in one day. I wished that I could stop them from feeding out of the bird feeders. I have a few tricks I am going to try this year
From Baton Rouge: after the flood last summer our feeders were inundated with honey bees. I can tell you that they will wipe out a quart sized feeder in a matter of just a few hours. We were frantically refilling them all (4 of them) after talking with an entomologist at LSU as their habitat was wiped off the face of the earth in the surrounding areas and they needed all the help they could find. It was astounding the number of bees!!!
It just happened to me today. Havent seen many bees on feeders until today. Then all of a sudden.....there they are and all food is gone. WOW!!!
I've seen. They can. I didn't even have 100 only maybe 50 and a big feeder.
Mine were drained two days in a row by bees!! Drained dry!!!!
I have seen it myself. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have believed it!
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