Keeping Bees Away from Hummingbird Feeders?

What is the best way to keep bees away from my hummingbird feeders?


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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
March 4, 20170 found this helpful

A red feeder attracts the birds and yellow attracts bees, so avoid yellow. Move your feeder often, too

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March 5, 20170 found this helpful

I use mint flavoring found in the spice sections of any grocery store. I use a cotton swab to smear the flavoring around the ports and any sections where the bottle connects to the feeder or where the bottom of the feeder snaps together. I do this each and every time I clean my feeders.


My feeders are pretty much under some sort of cover so the flavoring does not wash off during a rain. Note I said mint flavoring and NOT mint oil. My guess is one could get the same result by wiping ports and feeder with fresh mint leaves from your gardens.

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March 5, 20170 found this helpful

I got so frustrated with this very issue and I ended up buying 4 more feeders and put them in different areas and still had bees but not as many in one spot so the hummingbirds had a chance at least. So basically I decreased the masses in each area. Linda H. Omaha, N.E

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March 5, 20170 found this helpful

OK, it's gross but it works. I had bees as big as the hummingbirds, flying up fast enough to bump them out of the way. I made sugar water in a jar-used an old spaghetti sauce jar and filled it about 1/3, I just mixed a bunch of sugar with water until it seemed thicker, no heat or anything. I just sat the jar on the porch rail near the hummingbird feeder.


The gigantic bees would dive right in and drown. as they filled the sugar solution I would just add more; by the end of the summer I had a jar full of bees...put the lid on, put them in the trash. These weren't bumblebees or honeybees, the pollinators, they were the size of my thumb and pretty aggressive.

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June 11, 20170 found this helpful

Not good to kill our bees!!!

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July 9, 20170 found this helpful

ALL bees are pollinators, not just honey bees and bumblebees. Please don't kill any bees.

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March 6, 20172 found this helpful

There are so many suggestions;
no yellow - use oils - clean feeders - etc
I have just put out my feeders and I read that you reduce the amount of sugar in the mixture and the bees did not like it so much but it still gave the hummers enough nourishment. Time will tell. Also, some of my feeders are kinda high (to keep out of direct sun) so I always have to rinse them to make sure I did not spill any mixture on the outside.


Here is an extract from one of my sources that deals with what NOT to do:

Don't put any oils, Vicks Vapor Rub, Pam Cooking Spray, Duct Tape, Off, Skin-so-soft, or Vaseline on your hummingbird feeder. These may work slightly. However, hummingbirds have a tendency to fly around frantically and bump into feeders quite often. If there is oily stuff or duct tape on the feeder, it can get into the feathers. The hummingbirds will have a hard time getting it off and it's not all that good for them. Plus, most of these items will melt in the heat making goo run all over the place. Please don't use these items.
Here is a web site that has some very good information on this subject:

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