Although bees play an important role in pollination, they can become a nuisance when they gather in large numbers around bird feeders during the winter.
To prevent bees from entering hummingbird feeders, you should use bee guards or purchase a feeder that already has them installed. It may be just as beneficial to purchase a nondescript feeder despite the fact that bees are drawn to bright yellow flower imitations. Additionally, make sure the outside of the feeder is never drenched in sugar water.
Feeding hummingbirds can be dangerous if bees continue to be a nuisance, as the birds may either stop coming or, worse, get stung.
Remove bees from your hummingbird feeders without causing too much damage by using bee guards if they are suitable with your feeder, or by purchasing a new feeder that already has bee guards installed.
Despite their lack of color and deviation from the standard hummingbird feeder design, I have a soft spot for vintage metal feeders.
This significantly less flashy but still lovely feeder has the potential to be less alluring to bees, while still being recognizable to hummingbirds.
Bees will cease buzzing about the hummingbird feeder if they can’t get to the sugary reward inside. However, leaks and misuse might cause that sugar water to accumulate outside of the feeders.
Bees have swarmed the area around the feeder, making it difficult for the hummingbird to use the feeding port wells to reach the sugar water.
Bees will have a field day collecting nectar from sugar water that has congealed into drops on the surface.
If you’re concerned about sugar residue building up in and around the feeding wells of your hummingbird feeder, I recommend not only giving it a thorough cleaning at least twice a week, but also sprinkling water over it at least once a day.
The best hummingbird feeders typically include a bee guard, so I’ve compiled a separate list with just feeders that include this feature.
Upgrade to Bee Guard feeder
Even though it may seem obvious, a new and improved hummingbird feeder may be exactly what is required.
If bees are a problem at your hummingbird feeder, you may need to replace it with one that already has bee guards installed in the food dishes.
To avoid the hassle of retrofitting, I would recommend purchasing a hummingbird feeder that already includes bee protections.
Hummingbird feeders often have yellow bee guards with circular holes installed in them to prevent unwanted insects from contaminating the feeder’s nectar supply.
You can get bee guards from Perky Pets, for instance, but they only work with some of their feeders and aren’t universal.
Hummingbirds are able to feed via the tiny openings of a bee guard placed in the open sugar water feeding wells, but bees are prevented from reaching the feed ports due to their disproportionately large size.
Hummingbirds are able to feed normally because their long, thin beaks fit through the guard’s openings, whereas bees are kept out.
Backyard hummingbirds greatly benefit from hummingbird feeders, and the only major drawback is that feeders are also frequented by unwanted insects like bees.
Downgrade to less color
A regular hummingbird feeder’s vivid colors and design characteristics also attract honeybees.
Bees, in contrast to hummingbirds, can be easily diverted from brilliant colors by switching to a feeder with more muted tones.
Even if you move the feeder, most hummingbirds will still be able to find it and use it as usual, so there’s no need to worry.
A hummingbird at a vintage-style feeder; the design isn’t too boring, but it’s also not too flashy, which helps it avoid attracting honeybees.
Take down the bright red hummingbird feeder and replace it with something more subdued, such a vintage-style metal feeder.
Plus, bees are less likely to be attracted to vintage or antique feeders since they lack the brilliant colors that modern ones feature.
The feeding port wells, which are typically yellow, are less noticeable or mix in with the theme of the feeders, making it less evident to bees but still letting hummingbirds know what it is.
Maintain a tidy feeder
I can’t stress enough how crucial it is to thoroughly clean the hummingbird feeders twice weekly and perform some maintenance in between.
It’s not mentioned nearly often enough, but a lot of birds will be drinking from the feeder throughout the day, which can cause it to leak or spill.
By doing so, the protected sugar water is exposed, luring pollinating bees to dine in and around the feeding wells, where they can annoy the hummingbirds.
You should always keep your hummingbird feeder pristine and clean like the one in the picture.
It is your responsibility to keep the outside of the hummingbird feeder clean, particularly in the areas surrounding the feeding port wells.
Bees can be kept at bay by regularly washing off any sugar water that has leaked onto the ground from the feeder.
Keep the outside of the feeder clean so the bees have easy access to the sweet sugar water within.
Regularly pour over water
Wait until the hummers have left for the day, and then pour or splash room temperature water over the hanging hummingbird feeders.
But even better, it would take less than a minute and a lot less effort to use the force of a garden hose or pressure washer.
Keeping your hummingbird feeder clean and clear of sugar water spills on the outside can go a long way toward discouraging bees and other pests from hanging around.
If you want to clean the feeders gently, you don’t need to take them off their bracket or mount. If you want to clean them more vigorously, however, you should take them down to reduce the chance that they will fall.
This hummingbird feeder is only 5 feet off the ground on a bracket, which is perfectly within reach for filling it with water on a regular basis.
To prevent the sugary water from sticking to the outer feeder, just use plain tap water at this point.
Every day should enough, but at peak seasons, twice a day would be much better.
Hummingbird feeders should be cleaned twice weekly using a soap dish or a part vinegar solution, not daily by pouring water over them. This is merely a precaution to ensure that the sugar mixture does not collect on the outside of the feeder.
Stabilize unsteady feeders
Stabilizing the hummingbird feeder first is a necessary for keeping it clean and preventing bees from getting to the sugar water on the outside.
Although this is true for hanging hummingbird feeders in general, a mounted feeder that is securely fastened will not budge.
It is therefore important that your hanging hummingbird feeder not swing in the wind, or at least not move in even the slightest breeze.
The first thing you should do is figure out if there is a more suitable spot in your backyard that is less vulnerable to wind, such as a wind tunnel in an alley way or close to a breezy catchment area.
A length of thread or rope, one end of which is tied to the hummingbird feeder perch and the other to a pillar or other stable object, can stabilize a wobbly feeder and keep the birds coming back for more.
The feeder may still be able to swing, thus it may be necessary to fix two or three rope lengths during the process.
A powerful gust of wind can bring everything crashing to the ground, therefore it’s important to secure the ends of the knots to something substantial, such a post or, if using tent pegs, into the ground.
Remove feeders temporarily
Getting rid of bees on a hummingbird feeder is challenging, and it’s possible that none of the solutions presented here will be effective.
The only option that would be left is to take the feeders away from the yard.
While this strategy is efficient at reducing bee activity near the feeder, if it were to be temporarily discontinued, hummingbirds would be forced to do without food as well, forcing them to search for alternative sources of nourishment.
Hummingbird feeders should be taken down for a day or two if bees become a major problem.
The sweet sugar water from the hummingbird feeder often drips just below it, rendering this useless unless the area is thoroughly cleaned.
For many of us, the hummingbird season only lasts for a few months in the spring and summer, so you shouldn’t waste time removing feeders just to keep the bees away.
Hummingbirds require a steady supply of sugar water and could perish if their feeders were taken inside unexpectedly on a day when it was extremely hot or dry outside.
Bee guards can be attached to the feeding port wells of a hummingbird feeder to prevent unwanted visitors, such as bees.
However, not all feeders can make the transition, so you may need to upgrade to a hummingbird feeder with bee guards, which are a great way to keep the insects at bay.
Hummingbird feeders attract honeybees due to their vivid colors and the fake yellow flowers that produce nectar for the birds.
I suggest looking for a hummingbird feeder that is less colorful overall but has feeding port well holes that blend in with the rest of the feeder’s design so that bees aren’t drawn to them. This will keep the nectar in the feeder and away from the bees.
Hummingbird feeders can be easily accessed by bees if even a small amount of the sugar water mixture seeps out through the exterior. Therefore, it is crucial to always keep the outside of the hummingbird feeder clean.
In addition to the twice-weekly cleaning, a hummingbird feeder should be given a quick rinse with a bucket of water, a hose, or a pressure washer every few days.
Simply rinsing with water from the faucet will remove the sugar crust that has formed.
Because of this, it is important to secure the feeder with at least two or three pieces of rope to prevent the sugar water from leaking out the port holes when the feeder swings back and forth in the wind.