While hummingbirds are drawn to feeders with tasty nectar recipes, bees are also drawn to nectar. Understanding how birds and bees behave may assist us in resolving our feeding challenge.
However, the issue of how to keep bees away from hummingbird feeders arises. There are several methods to do this without causing damage to birds or bees. However, before diving into it, let’s first understand.
What Are Bee Guards for Hummingbird Feeders?
You may purchase or construct a guard for the feeders. Additionally, you may purchase hummingbird feeders that have built-in bee guards. The guard obstructs the bees’ access to the nectar by reducing the size of the feeding hole. Hummingbirds will be able to sip nectar indefinitely.
Keep reading to find out the most effective tips on avoiding bees in your hummingbird feeder.
Tips to Keep Bees at Bay
1. Set up Bee Guards
If you want to design your hummingbird feeder bee-proof, you will need to modify the feeding holes to smaller to prevent bees and other insects from entering. Certain hummingbird feeders are equipped with built-in bee guards.
The first step is to purchase a good feeder equipped with a bee guard. However, you can add a bee guard if you own a feeder.
Hummingbirds use long beaks and tongues that enable them to reach nectar supplies, which are mostly in flower vaults. Adding a bee guard or a mesh around the feeding ports prevents bees from entering through the holes, preventing them from reaching the nectar and finally abandoning their pursuit.
Bees will only summon reinforcements if nectar is available. Otherwise, there will be no bee swarm if the few inspecting bees cannot get nectar.
2. Frequent Repositioning of the Feeder
Once hummingbirds discover a food source, they will return regularly and search the area for more food sources. Moving hummingbird feeders often may be an effective strategy to generate confusion and deter bees from hummingbird feeders.
While you may relocate the feeder a few feet away, there is a possibility that the bees will rapidly locate it again. Frequently relocating the feeder may be confusing for both hummingbirds and bees, so keep your plan for feeder relocation firm but not too firm.
Generally, insects will visit convenient sources and not search for moved hummingbird feeders. Relocating the feeder a few feet will help reduce bee visits without deterring hummingbirds.
3. Use Decoy Feeders
Using a very identical feeder to your hummingbird feeder but specifically designed for bees is an excellent approach to keep bees off from hummingbird feeders.
Set this bee-specific feeder next to the hummingbird feeder, hang it in direct sunshine, and use a stronger sugar-water solution. Anything with a water-to-sugar ratio greater than 5 to 1 is excellent bee bait.
A very shallow dish filled with this solution is placed around 5 or 6 feet away from bird feeders. You may need to start closer to the feeder and gradually move it away. It will keep bees around to pollinate your blooms while also providing them with a source of food.
Insects will go toward the most accessible food sources, so whether it’s a basin or another bird feeder, ensure that the feeding source is accessible to bees.
4. Locate and Seal the Leak
One of the most frequent reasons you cannot keep bees away from the feeders is feeder leakages. You cannot afford to neglect to inspect your feeder for slits or leaks.
Dripping sweet sugar water on hummingbird feeders can attract insects such as ants. While a tiny leak is acceptable occasionally, it is vital to close the flow when leaks and drips become frequent and substantial.
An uneven or weak seal causes a leaky seal. A decent seal is sufficient between the bottle reservoir and the feeder ports. There are numerous methods for tightening a feeder and strengthening the seals to prevent leaking.
To strengthen a seal, cover the threads from which the feeder screws together with the plumber’s tape to strengthen the seal and reduce any existing leaks. To avoid contamination, keep the tape away from the nectar.
5. Consider a Shady Spot for Your Hummingbird Feeder
Bees and hummingbirds will feed on your feeders regardless of their location, as long as they are accessible. On the other hand, Bees are used to searching for nectar and pollen in direct sunshine since it is where most flowers blossom.
By positioning hummingbird feeders in a shaded area, you may reduce their appeal to bees. Additionally, placing your feeders in the shade is beneficial to prevent the honey from rotting too rapidly.
The shade helps keep the nectar cold and the fermentation process slower. If the feeder is constructed of plastic, hot weather will cause it to expand, resulting in leaking.
However, it is crucial to remember that placing hummingbird feeders in completely dark and gloomy areas will reduce their attraction to hummingbirds since they will be unable to locate them; thus, the optimal location would be a partially shaded region.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Best Bee-Proof Hummingbird Feeder?
Saucer hummingbird feeders can help keep bees and wasps at bay. Hummingbirds have long tongues to get nectar from saucer feeders, while insects cannot. In addition, hummingbirds are drawn to red, whereas bees prefer yellow.
Do Hummingbirds Eat Bees?
Bees and wasps aren’t a food source for hummingbirds. When it comes to bees and wasps, the birds don’t see them as a food source, even though they consume insects as part of their diet.
What Is a Good Repellent for Bees?
In contrast to other flying insects, bees are not drawn to the fragrance of people; they are naturally curious. They include lavender oil, olive oil, vegetable oil, citronella oil, lemon oil, lavender oil, and lime oil are unappealing to bees. All of them are topical bee repellents that you may apply to your skin.
Unlike the common predators that birds fear, hummingbirds must defend themselves against predators that require more strategy than bees. While deciding which hummingbird feeder to hang, whether to manufacture your nectar or use commercial nectar and where to hang it, keep these small predators in mind and read on tips to keep them off your feeder.