This Is Why Bees And Wasps Won't Leave Your Hummingbird Feeder Alone

Hummingbirds are not the only creatures that love the sweet nectar in hummingbird feeders. Sometimes orioles and other big birds want a taste of sugar, and we have even seen viral videos of bears taking a sip. But, more commonly, you may find bees and wasps swarming your feeder. While you may want to feed the bees, keeping them away from your hummingbird feeder gives your feathery friends a place to eat. And if you keep your feeder close to your home, you do not want to be swarmed by stinging insects every time you go outside.

While you may see bees and wasps around your hummingbird feeder all summer, they may become increasingly pesky as fall approaches. These insects know winter is coming, and their instincts tell them to prepare. Bees and wasps are in search of extra nectar to store as fuel to survive the cold winter months when food is scarce. Then, in the spring, they are again attracted to the readily available food source until their favorite flowers bloom. So how can you keep them from dining on your hummingbirds' feast without harming them?

Redirecting bees and wasps

Since you never want to spray pesticide on or near a hummingbird feeder, you can look for a feeder that deters bees and wasps. Or, add more water to the mix, making it not as sweet and less appealing to insects. Another option is to provide another nectar source away from your home and existing feeder. Perhaps feeding wasps is not very appealing, but feeding native pollinators like honeybees will help increase their dwindling populations.

All you need is a bowl and some marbles. The bowl holds the nectar while the marbles provide a place for bees to rest while they drink. Since bees are particularly attracted to yellow, using this color bowl may draw them away from your hummingbird feeder. You can use the same feeding mixture for your bee feeder as you do for your hummingbirds (1 part sugar to 3 parts water), or you can make it a little sweeter with a half-and-half mixture. Place your marbles in the bowl, then fill it with nectar, leaving part of the marbles above the top of the liquid. Then, put your bee feeder away from the hummingbird feeder and let the bees safely enjoy their feast.