Bees pose an age-old problem when it comes to hummingbird feeders. This mainly has to do with the fact that both bees and hummingbirds consume the same form of food, nectar. Along with nectar being a common interest for both bees and hummingbirds, these feeders’ brighter colors also become a huge problem. That is because both bees and hummingbirds are naturally attracted to such elements. So thus, everyone will suffer from one common problem, which is how to keep bees away from hummingbird feeders.
How to Keep Bees Away From Hummingbird Feeders?
Bees, wasps, and hornets usually invade as an army whenever they come and feed. This can cause a mess for you and the birds you wish to feed. Well, to keep it simple, bees can be a real nuisance at feeders. Then how do you deal with this problem? One thing to be clear; we strictly advise you against using any harsh methods to eradicate the bee population near your feeders. Thus, here we are with a few hassle-free and natural ways to stop the little bumbling bees from coming to your feeders. Here is the complete guide on how to keep bees away from hummingbird feeders.
1. Use Red Feeders
Bees are famous for being attracted to the color yellow. Bumble bees and hummingbird feeders will be like best friends when these sources of nectar are in yellow. Meanwhile, hummingbirds show a huge interest in red. This could be your chance. Darker colors, such as red, seem to appear black to bees. And since they perceive black as an absence of shade, they won’t come near red-colored objects. In contrast, colors like purple, violet, and blue attract all bees’ attention very quickly. So, all-in-all, go with feeders that are red in color and act like bee and wasp proof hummingbird feeders.
2. Go With Bee Guards
Unlike bees, hummingbirds have long beaks that can help them reach a feeder, even if it has an insect-proof mesh as a cover. Bees this way will never be able to reach the source of nectar and will eventually give up after a few tries. You can also buy those products with a pre-installed bee guard or ant moats that specifically work to keep insects away. Moreover, these guards do not pose any problem for your hummingbirds. Another win is that since bees won’t be able to access the nectar, they will not call reinforcement either. Hence, you will not have a swarm colonizing your feeders.
3. Place Fake Wasp Nests
Wasps are great territorial insects and will instinctively not engage with territories of other wasp colonies. Still, some of those like yellow jackets might not care as they usually nest on the ground. Regardless, this kind can still act as a powerful deterrent, especially in early springs, when wasps are planning to nest. A wasp nest would deter bees and other insects from entering that space since wasps are aggressive rivals for them. Placing wasp nests would most likely provide a foolproof solution for keeping bees from entering any food source. So, make sure you get realistic wasp nests that measure around 8×11 inches. This will make them appear the closest to their real counterparts.
4. Place Feeders In A Shaded Spot
Bees, by nature, usually look for sunny spots for hummingbird food because that is where most flowers bloom. Keeping your feeders at a shady spot will help as it will become less appealing for these little buzzers. Worry not!! Hummingbirds would still be able to locate and feed on those feeders. Although, do remember that the place should not be entirely shaded in such a way that even these birds will not be able to locate the feeder. Thus, partially shaded places work the best because, along with not being visible to bees, the feeders won’t be under direct sunlight, ensuring the nectar’s longer perseverance. Moreover, this method also prevents feeders from expanding and leaking in case their material is of plastic.
5. Clean The Feeder Daily
It is natural for a feeder to be full of drips of nectar after the hummingbirds fill their stomachs with it. Furthermore, this thing can also leak when it is full of juice due to any pressure, mostly air inside it. And all drips and leaks can invite those buzzers in a blink, no matter how small the drip or the leak is. Besides, any exposed nectar can form a mess. So, considering all of this, it is always important that you take good care of hummingbird feeders and clean them daily, along with other maintenance work required weekly. The whole process will take less than 30 seconds of your time but will give you a solution to how to keep wasps and bees away from hummingbird feeders. So, cleaning will help with how to keep bees and ants out of hummingbird feeders questions.
6. Plant Pollinator Flowers
Giving bees a real-life alternative that they cannot resist would forever keep them away. These buzzing creatures would love to have flowers all to themselves. Especially when such flowers are a vibrant set of colors like yellow and purple, these insects will fall harder. So, make sure that you keep flowers that are safe for both hummingbirds and bees. Do not use any sort of insecticide on such plants as such will be harmful to bees and could pose a threat to your hummingbirds as well. Besides, choose a mix of annuals, perennials, and flowers with a staggered blooming time to ensure bees don’t run out of options. Nonetheless, some flowers best suitable for this job are Bee Balm, Trumpet Creeper, Petunia, and Zinnia. Almost all of them are yellow in color, which is a bee magnet.
7. Keep Moving Feeders
Moving the feeders can be a great trick if you want to learn how to keep bees and wasps away from hummingbird feeders. It can confuse bees and make them lose track of it at times. Thus, this method is famous among many people who want to separate honey bees and hummingbird feeders. Although this might not be an instant hit, periodically moving feeders can help. But please note that you do not do this moving thing too often since at times even hummingbirds can get confused. Well, that won’t be nice at all, would it? Additionally, moving the feeders to great distances can also make it hard for hummingbirds to spot them. So ensure you only move them 3 to 4 feet less often. This way, the bees won’t be able to find them, but your hummingbirds will still be able to.
8. Avoid Yellow Things
Bees are one of the main reasons why flowers are bright in color. These buzzers are considered a major pollinating species when it comes to flowers. And that’s why blossoms try their best to attract them by being colorful. Since bees can see ultraviolet light that we humans cannot see, their perception of colors is set according to that. Thus, these do not hence consider red a good choice, as mentioned previously, but seem to love yellow and blue. Absorbing all of this information will give you a clear hint of avoiding yellow and blue. Try to keep your feeder at a place surrounded by red hues, thereby separating hummingbird feeders and bees. However, hummingbirds will not be repelled by this in any way since they don’t see colors as buzzers tend to do. On another note, hummingbirds love flower-like shaped things.
9. Avoid Leaks And Spillage
It is very important to maintain the condition of feeders since any leakages and spills can get a lot of insects on the feeder. You have to be very careful and maintaining them becomes a great responsibility. Exchange old feeders timely and keep monitoring them for any sort of spills. Spills can not only get bees, but they can also cater to an army of ants, and you would want to avoid that in every way possible. Unlike bees, ants will not take much time to climb up a feeder.
The methods discussed here can be very effective for those who are wondering how to keep bees and hornets away from hummingbird feeders. With our simple methods, now keep your hummingbird nectar homemade safely out of any insects’ reach. Here, we have discussed majorly all-natural ways without using any insecticide or insect traps. That’s because we all should strongly note that bees are a crucial and endangered species. We have to recognize how to keep away the bees while also protecting them on our end so that it is a win for all.