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Keeping Bees Out of a Hummingbird Feeder

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September 10, 2011

Bee on Hummingbird FeederWe 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.

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By clyde n

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September 13, 20117 found this helpful
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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, 201615 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.

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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 16, 201620 found this helpful
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I believe this type of feeder is referred to as a flat feeder.

 
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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 858 Posts
July 7, 2009

We have hummingbird feeders and its horrible to see the little hummingbirds trying to eat at the feeders with all the bees. No matter how many feeders I put out the bees are all over the feeders.

Keeping Bees Away from a Hummingbird Feeder

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19 More Questions

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April 8, 2015

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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Bronze Answer Medal for All Time! 220 Answers
April 9, 20154 found this helpful
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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.

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July 22, 20164 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.

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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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July 31, 2011

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

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July 31, 20111 found this helpful
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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!

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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
April 27, 20160 found this helpful
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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 8, 2010

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

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September 10, 20105 found this helpful
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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.

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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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May 26, 20110 found this helpful
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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.

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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.

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Anonymous
April 26, 20163 found this helpful
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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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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 205 Posts
May 9, 2009

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 Cricket from Parkton, NC

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May 10, 20092 found this helpful
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A good layer of petroleum jelly around the pole or mount keeps ants away pretty well. I've heard they don't like peppermint oil too, you could try dabbing some of that around. I'm not sure about the wasps though!

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Anonymous
March 13, 20162 found this helpful
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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, 20161 found this helpful
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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, 20162 found this helpful
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to keep wasps away from feeder plant mint plants near feeder . Wasps dont like mint. I made a solution of peppermint extract and water and put it in a little spray bottle. I spray the plants near the feeder. The wasps don't like it and fly away.

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August 25, 2016

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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August 28, 20161 found this helpful
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I use the paper wasp nest that scares them, they are afraid of a huge nest so they stay away, just hang up on a near by spot. also you can blow air into a paper bag and tie the end and hang it, works also.

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