Bees are attracted to the sweetness of hummingbird nectar, but they can quickly become a nuisance at feeders. While bees are important pollinators, too many at the feeder can crowd out the tiny hummingbirds. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to keep bees away from your feeder.
- Purchase a hummingbird feeder that has a built-in bee guard
- Hang the hummingbird feeder in an area that is away from trees, shrubs, or other areas where bees may congregate
- Fill the feeder with a sugar and water solution that is no more than 1 part sugar to 4 parts water
- Clean the feeder regularly and replace the sugar solution every few days to prevent fermentation
- Move the feeder around occasionally to help confuse bees as to its location
How Do I Keep the Bees off My Hummingbird Feeder?
One of the most common questions we get here at The Hummingbird Company is “how to keep away from hummingbird feeders?” There are a few different ways to deter bees from your feeder, and we’ll go over a few of them below. One way to keep the bees off your hummingbird feeder is to use a bee guard.
Bee guards are small plastic or metal devices that fit onto the opening of your hummingbird feeder and have small holes that only allow hummingbirds to access the nectar.
You can find bee guards at most stores that sell hummingbird feeders or online.
Another way to keep bees away from your feeder is to add a bit of lemon juice or vinegar to the nectar mixture.
The acidic nature of these ingredients will deter bees without harming hummingbirds. Just be sure not to add too much, as too much acidity can also harm birds.
Finally, you can try hanging your hummingbird feeder in a place where bees aren’t able to easily reach it, such as under a tree branch or on a shepherd’s hook.
By making it more difficult for bees to access the nectar, they’ll likely give up and move on in search of an easier meal.
Are Hummingbirds Afraid of Bees?
No, hummingbirds are not afraid of bees. While bees may be attracted to the sweet nectar that hummingbirds feed on, these two species have different feeding habits.
Hummingbirds use their long beaks to access nectar deep inside flowers, while bees land on the flower and use their short mouths to suck up nectar from the surface.
Because of this difference, there is no competition between hummingbirds and bees for food.
Why are Bees Suddenly Swarming My Hummingbird Feeder?
Bees are attracted to the sugar water in hummingbird feeders for the same reason that hummingbirds are, it’s a quick and easy source of energy.
The difference is that bees can’t hover in front of the feeder like hummingbirds can, so they land on the rim and drink their fill. This isn’t usually a problem, but if there are a lot of bees around your feeder, they can start to crowd out the hummingbirds.
If you’re seeing more bees than usual around your feeder, it could be because there aren’t enough flowers blooming for them to collect nectar from.
When this happens, bees will search out other sources of sugar water, like your hummingbird feeder!
Do Bees Bother Hummingbirds at the Feeder?
No, bees do not bother hummingbirds at the feeder. In fact, bees and hummingbirds often visit the same flowers to feed on nectar.
However, because bees are much larger than hummingbirds, they may chase away or even sting smaller birds if they feel threatened.
Keeping Ants, Bees, Hornets & Wasps off of Hummingbird Feeders
Swarm of Bees on Hummingbird Feeder
If you’re lucky enough to have a hummingbird feeder in your yard, you may also get the occasional visit from a swarm of bees.
While it may be alarming at first, there’s no need to worry – the bees are just after the sugar water in the feeder and pose no threat to humans or hummingbirds.
Bees are attracted to sweet things, so it’s not surprising that they would be interested in the sugar water in hummingbird feeders.
In fact, they can smell it from far away and will zero in on the feeder as soon as they catch a whiff. The bees aren’t after the nectar-like the hummingbirds are, though – they don’t have long enough tongues to reach into the tiny feeding ports.
Instead, they’re after the sugary water that drips down from the bottom of the feeder.
While it may be annoying to have bees buzzing around your hummingbird feeder, there’s no need to worry about them harming either yourself or the birds.
The bees aren’t interested in anything else but getting their sugar fix, so they’ll leave you and your feathered friends alone as soon as they’ve had their fill.
If you’re one of the many people who love both bees and hummingbirds, you might be wondering how to keep bees away from your hummingbird feeders. Luckily, there are a few simple things you can do to deter bees from hovering around your feeders. First, make sure that your feeders are clean and free of any nectar or honey residue.
Next, try adding a bit of lemon juice or vinegar to the nectar solution. Finally, hang your feeders in an area where there is plenty of airflow so that the bees can’t linger near them. By following these simple tips, you can enjoy watching both bees and hummingbirds without having to worry about pesky bee populations raiding your feeders!