Updated at: 06-06-2023 - By: Jane Brody

Bumblebees, in particular, have an excellent sense of smell and can be lured to a specific feeder even if they are distracted by nectar in the wild or in other people’s yards.

Bees may travel up to two kilometers in search of nectar at hummingbird feeders, but this is easily avoided by keeping the feeder clean. If the nectar that should be contained within the feeder is instead transferred to the outside by hummers, leaks, or spills onto the ground, a swarm of bees will descend upon the feeder.

Bees And Hummingbird Feeders

Bees and hummingbirds share a mutual interest in the nectar that accumulates in each other’s feeders.

While hummers are oblivious to smell, bees can detect nectar from miles away, so if your feeder is the only one in the area, bees will quickly swarm to it.

Hummingbird feeders are made to prevent the sweet water from leaking out, and only when the nectar builds up on the external body of the feeder due to a lack of cleaning routine will bees be drawn to it for its enticing scent.

So, keep in mind that you need to clean the hummingbird feeder as often as you can. The feeder body can be cleaned as often as once per day with clean, cold water, if desired.

Make sure no nectar is left on the outside of the hummingbird feeder by cleaning it twice a week; this will also give you a chance to clean up any spills on the floor.

Bees, wasps, and even ants will be drawn to hummingbird feeders because of the wonderful nectar they provide. However, if you give your feeders a good cleaning once a week, you won’t have to worry about the problem of unwanted insects spreading.

However, ants prevent hummingbirds from feeding, and bees and wasps are a nuisance to humans.

Bees will be attracted to feeders

Bees And Hummingbird Feeders-3

If bees are in the area, they will visit your hummingbird feeder since they can detect the tasty nectar there by sight or scent.

For no apparent reason, bees will randomly visit your yard. At this time of day, the sugary water in the air can entice bees to the feeder, where they will attempt to drink the nectar.

Hummingbird feeders will not attract bees as long as there are no leaks, but any traces of nectar on the external body will draw them in.

It might be difficult to keep hummingbird feeders spotless, as the birds will eventually soil them with their nectar.

If you keep the feeder spotless, the bees may leave as quickly as they came, and the hummingbirds will continue to enjoy themselves.

The port wells are where bees are most likely to find nectar, as many of them are made to enable nectar to sit in any gaps without being cleaned away by feeding birds.

If you keep the port wells clean as often as possible, the bees should eventually leave.

NO bumblebees, NO problem

Bees And Hummingbird Feeders-2

Although bees will be drawn to hummingbird feeders if the sweet scent of honey lingers in the air, they won’t fly far to get there.

Not all bees will rush to your feeder for a taste of the nectar if you don’t have a bumblebee problem in your yard.

Bees can detect odors up to two miles away, so it’s true that they have a strong sense of smell. However, wild nectar blossoms or the aroma of sweet sticky food will always be detected before the bird makes it to your feeder.

There won’t be many bumblebees around your yard to visit a hummingbird feeder if there are any spills.

A greater number of bees will visit a hummingbird feeder if the feeder is allowed to become untidy.

Your job is to keep the feeder clean so that the bees don’t have a chance to swarm it or get into the nectar, otherwise they will do so over the next few days.

Messy exterior cause

Hummingbird feeders attract bees and, as a result, can become a swarming mess.

Inevitably, some of the homemade nectar you’ve been putting out for the hummingbirds will end up on the outside of the feeder. Bees will find it if it’s allowed to stay, and they’ll likely settle down there.

It’s important to remember that honey on the surface can harden and become quite sticky over time. Because of this, it’s important to clean a hummingbird feeder as regularly as possible to avoid this problem.

If the nectar is on the outside, bees will be drawn to the hummingbird feeders, but if it’s inside, the bees will find their way to the port wells.

If bees are continually buzzing around your hummingbird feeder, the birds usually won’t bother trying to feed from it, therefore it’s important to maintain it clean to discourage them.

Recognize that bees will be drawn to the sweet water that has spilled out of the feeder and pooled on the ground below. Be sure to tidy up any spots where honey could pool, as bees will drink from it.


Bees are attracted to hummingbird feeders if the nectar is exposed on the outside, whereas bumblebees avoid a clean feeder.

Bees can detect the scent of sweet nectar from miles away, and if it’s in the air, you can expect a swarm of local bees to descend upon your hummingbird feeder in a matter of minutes.

What you need to do is maintain the outside of the feeders clean; if nectar is allowed to sit on the outer body, or even on the ground below it, bees will arrive in droves.

Since bees don’t always swarm at the slightest scent, it’s good news if you don’t usually have a problem with a lack of nectar blooms.

It’s possible that bees won’t come to a feeder filled with nectar even if there are none nearby.

Hummingbird feeders attract swarms of bees because nectar, which should be kept covered, leaks out and attracts the insects underneath the feeder.

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