Installing nectar feeders is the best way to attract hummingbirds to your flowerbed or yard since these birds love feeding.
Flowers in your yard may not be enough to provide nectar for the feathered friends, and you need to take a step and provide nectar.
However, remember that hummingbirds aren’t the only nectar lovers; the sweet mixture can attract intruders too.
Let’s get deeper and see how nectar guards and other methods help you secure the nectar for the hummingbirds.
What is a Nectar Guard?
It’s a small and flexible piece of plastic usually attached to the feeding port to prevent other birds and bees from feeding on the nectar.
The top part of the guard remains closed and open when the hummingbird inserts the beak for feeding.
Featured Tip: Ensure that the holes on the nectar guard aren’t too small such that the bird’s beak gets stuck all the time. Slightly drill the holes to create ample space for the beaks.
Common Hummingbird Feeders’ Intruders
Bees love nectar, and they are the most common invaders of your hummingbird feeder; the worst part is that they tend to chase away the birds. Their buzzing can be a nuisance too.
When the bees are around, they can distract your view of the bird since you will keep evading their stings.
The nectar guards will help keep the bees away since they cannot access the nectar.
However, we can’t chase away the bees from our yards; they are excellent pollinators.
Ants invade the feeder while searching for the sweet nectar too. The small insects have no business with the birds, and they won’t harm them.
The ants can get into the water wells, clogging them up. Most feeders have moats that drown ants trying to climb on them.
If your feeder doesn’t have the moats, consider purchasing the ant guards.
5 Ways to Keep Off Bees and Ants From Your Hummingbird Feeder
1. Install a Nectar Guard
Nectar guards will help you keep bees from your nectar. The flexible plastic opens at the center whenever the hummingbird is feeding.
If you find it hectic looking for a nectar guard that works well with your feeder, consider talking to your feeder’s manufacturer or find relevant information online.
For example, the Perky-Pet brand has a hummingbird feeder with yellow nectar guards that only open when the beak accesses it.
You may find a hummingbird feeder with inbuild bee guards, saving you on new costs.
Installing nectar guards shouldn’t be a substitute for cleaning the feeders. Whenever refilling the nectar, ensure you clean the feeding ports properly, removing all nectar build-ups.
Occasionally do a thorough cleaning on the feeders, and you can use bleach, and thorough rinsing should follow.
2. Provide Another Food Source
In your backyard, place another food source to keep the bees and other birds from the feeder.
Here’s the catch; bees find natural food sources more attractive, and having a flowerbed with different nectar flowers will keep them busy.
Planting the flowers will help the bees and act as the natural nectar source for hummingbirds.
Another efficient way is by placing nectar in small birdbaths in the yard by adding some sugar to the water, which will attract the bees. A yellow-colored dish will help greatly.
3. Move Your Feeders
It’s easy to overlook this method, but however simple it looks, some bird lovers are applying the method to confuse bees.
Since bees are cold-blooded and love warm areas plus sunlight, place your feeders in a cool and slightly shaded area, and they will rarely get to the place.
Placing the hummingbird feeder in the shade is also a good way of preserving your nectar from fermentation since the sun speeds up the process.
4. Trap the Wasps and Hornets
When people want bees and other insects away from the hummingbirds’ feeders, they include wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets in the group of bees.
Most enthusiasts don’t have a problem pollinating bees; they love them staying in the yard.
However, wasps and hornets are aggressive insects towards the birds and humans, and before you know it, they have already stung your little kid.
Use a trap to keep them off. You can make your trap using an old plastic bottle that you can cut into two, place the top half into the bottom half, and add some sugary substance to attract the insect.
Once the insect gets in through the small opening, it’s unable to leave.
Avoid using insecticides while trying to remove the stubborn ants and bees from your yard; they may end up killing beneficial insects. However, there’s no reason to worry about the small amount of Permethrin in an aunt guard; it’s safe for birds, pets, and human beings.
5. Ensure There Are No Leakages
Ants are sugar lovers, and if the nectar is dripping, the ants will flock to this area for the sugary nectar, and before you know it here, ants will have clogged the feeder.
Ensure that you tighten the loose parts or if there’s a serious crack, consider replacing the feeder with a better and sturdy one.
Additionally, if your feeder is exposed to a heat source, the nectar expands, and you are likely to experience leakages. The shaded area works well in this case.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How Does the Nectar Guard Work?
The guard has a small flexible opening at the center that opens whenever the hummingbird inserts the beak to feed on the nectar and remains closed when the birds are away; hence bees can’t access the nectar.
2. Are There Bee-Proof Hummingbird Feeders?
The Plastic Hummingbird Feeder is bee-proof and has an ant moat. It’s also well the best for outdoor hanging.
3. How Do I Keep off Bumblebees From My Feeder?
There are many ways of keeping the bees away. Begin installing a bee guard, stopping any leakages, and providing an extra feeding point.
Using nectar guards and the above tips will reduce intruders on the feeder. However, it’s hard to keep off other birds from the feeder since their beaks can access nectar; the best way to embrace them is to embrace them if they don’t fight the hummingbirds. Check for the right size of nectar guards before purchasing. Avoid yellow on the feeder since bees love yellow.