How to Keep Bees Away From Hummingbird Feeders

In-flight honeybees carrying golden pollen, buzzing near hummingbird feeder hive entrance.

While bees are beneficial for your garden, they can be a nuisance when they take an interest in hummingbird feeders. The combination of sweet nectar and easily accessible feeding ports attracts hummingbirds, bees, and wasps, which can actively harm small birds. This comprehensive guide will explain how to keep bees away from hummingbird feeders.

Why are Bees Attracted to Hummingbird Feeders?

Bees are naturally drawn to hummingbird feeders because of the sugary nectar they contain, resembling the sustenance they find in nectar-filled flowers. Nectar is a vital food source for bees and hummingbirds alike. Bees actively search for floral nectar as they move from one flower to another and can detect nectar from across gardens.

Introducing a hummingbird feeder into your garden creates an appealing source of nectar. Because the sugar solution is readily available, bees and wasps will investigate and eat directly from the feeder.

Are Bees Dangerous to Hummingbirds?

Bees pose a threat to hummingbirds because of their size and behavior. Hummingbirds, being small birds similar in size to some insects, are more susceptible to bee attacks.

Bees are fast insects that can swiftly target and harm a hummingbird. Given the small size of hummingbirds, they are particularly vulnerable to bee stings. A single bee sting has the potential to be fatal for a hummingbird. Therefore, protecting these fragile birds from potential harm when placing feeders in your garden is crucial.

It’s vital to ensure the safety of hummingbirds without resorting to using pesticides. Pesticides can be detrimental not only to bees but also to hummingbirds. With declining bee populations, it’s essential to deter bees from feeders rather than harming them.

Honeybees in flight, carrying golden pollen, buzzing around hive entrance on a warm day.

9 Tips On How to Keep Bees Away From Hummingbird Feeders

Methods for keeping bees away from hummingbird feeders include using bee guards, providing water for insects, and planting more flowers. Here are nine tips on how to keep bees away from hummingbird feeders.

Use a Bee Guard

Ensure only hummingbirds can access the nectar by using a bee guard or bee moat. A bee guard is a mesh cover that goes over the feeder openings. A bee moat is a water tray placed above the feeder to deter bees. Both options help maintain a hummingbird-friendly feeding environment.

Clean the Feeder Regularly

Prevent bees from being attracted to sugary residues outside the feeder by minimizing any spills during refilling. Be mindful of leaks and wipe down the feeder after filling it to reduce sugar temptations for bees.

Provide Water to Bees

Remember to provide water sources for bees and insects, as they also need hydration like hummingbirds do.

Providing different water sources like muddy puddles or birdbaths in your garden creates distractions that lead bees away from your hummingbird feeder. This diversion helps to decrease bee activity around the feeder while still supporting the needs of pollinators.

Swarm of bees busy around hive entrance, perfect for hummingbird feeders.

Grow a Garden for Pollinators

Planting flowers that attract bees away from the hummingbird feeder can help reduce bee activity. Flowering plants like mints, lavender, coneflower, sunflowers, and catnip act as appealing nectar sources for bees. By adding these plants to your garden, you offer alternative foraging options that might divert bees from the feeder.

Move the Feeder

If other methods don’t deter bees from swarming around the feeder, think about relocating it to a different part of your garden.

Changing the location of the feeder may disrupt bee foraging patterns and lower their attraction to the feeder. Trying out different places can help determine the best spot to minimize bee interest in the feeder.

Use a Red Feeder

Bees are drawn to yellow hues, so selecting a red-colored feeder attracts hummingbirds while discouraging bees. The red color stands out to hummingbirds so they can easily find the feeder.

Mimic a Flower

Altering the design of the feeder to mimic a flower can deter bees from reaching the nectar. Adjusting the feeder’s opening size or increasing the distance to the nectar source makes it harder for bees to feed.

Offer Other Food Sources

Providing other food sources like flowers or sugar water stations diverts focus from your hummingbird feeder. By creating more foraging options, you can lessen competition between bees and hummingbirds for the nectar solution.

How to Keep Honey Bees Away From Hummingbird Feeders

Implementing the strategies mentioned above can reduce bee activity around hummingbird feeders, but honey bees may still persist.

If you’re still struggling to keep honey bees away from hummingbird feeders, install more bee guards to prevent insects from feeding. Consider moving the feeder around your garden to find the best place to deter bees.

Graceful hummingbird savoring sweet sip on red feeder amidst vibrant green foliage.

5 Bee-Proof Hummingbird Feeder Options

For those who love hummingbirds and want to keep bees away from their feeders, it’s important to choose bee-proof hummingbird feeder options. Here are some top picks with clever designs that keep bees at bay while attracting hummingbirds:

Homestead 3910 Hummingbird Feeder

The Homestead 3910 Hummingbird Feeder is a great choice for those who value both style and practicality. Made of clear glass and red plastic, this feeder can hold up to 12 ounces of nectar. This provides plenty of space for hummingbirds to enjoy.

What makes it special is its built-in guard that effectively keeps insects, including bees, away from the nectar. With an easy-to-clean two-piece base and a secure seal to prevent leaks, the Homestead 3910 ensures a bee-resistant feeding spot.

Juegoal Hanging Hummingbird Feeder

Another fantastic option for bee-proof feeding is the Juegoal Hanging Hummingbird Feeder. It can hold up to 12 ounces of nectar and features eight feeding ports to provide for multiple hummingbirds at once. Its standout feature is the insect and ant moat that stops bees and other unwanted insects from accessing the nectar.

The Juegoal hummingbird feeder has a removable lid for easy refills and cleaning. This makes it a convenient and effective choice for maintaining a bee-free feeding spot for hummingbirds.

Aspects 12oz Humzinger Ultra

The 12oz Humzinger Ultra by Aspects has a unique Nectar Guard, effectively keeping bees, wasps and other flying insects at bay. The ant moat surrounding the feeder protects against crawling insects. The elevated red flower ports also prevent rainwater from diluting the nectar.

The feeder’s leakproof design makes cleaning and maintenance a breeze, guaranteeing a clean environment for hummingbirds to enjoy their food.

Roamwild Hanging Bee-Proof Hummingbird Feeder

An alternative great choice would be the Roamwild Hanging Bee Proof Hummingbird Feeder. It comes with a special double ant moat and feeding port design to keep insects out. The UV and weather-resistant shade not only shields the nectar but also preserves the feeder’s visual appeal.

BeeGuardian 360 Bee-Proof Hummingbird Feeder

The BeeGuardian 360 Bee-Proof Hummingbird Feeder is an innovative solution that provides a peaceful feeding experience for hummingbirds while effectively blocking bees.

Featuring five flower-shaped ports and an ant moat, this feeder ensures that hummingbirds can feed undisturbed. With a generous 360ml capacity and a leak-proof gasket, the BeeGuardian 360 feeder prevents water from spilling, maintaining a clean and safe environment.

A busy swarm of bees flying around the entrance of their hive on a sunny day.

Summing Up

While bees play a crucial role in the health of your garden, they can sometimes be bothersome near hummingbird feeders and can put birds at risk. This article has provided you with information on how to keep bees away from hummingbird feeders.

By following the tips provided and opting for bee-resistant feeder models, you can ensure your garden is hummingbird-friendly.

Preventing bees from infecting your feeders without endangering them will allow you to watch hummingbirds enjoy your garden.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our most frequently asked questions on keeping bees away from hummingbird feeders.

1. How Do Hummingbird Feeders Keep Bees Away?

Hummingbird feeders that are designed to keep bees away use methods to block bees and other insects from reaching the nectar while still allowing hummingbirds to feed.

These feeders might have mesh covers called bee guards over the feeding ports to stop bees from getting to the nectar. Some feeders also have double ant moats or raised flower ports to deter bees while attracting hummingbirds.

The goal of these feeder designs is to provide a safe and enjoyable feeding spot specifically for hummingbirds.

2. Are Hummingbird Feeders That Keep Bees Out Easy To Clean?

Yes, many bee-resistant hummingbird feeders are made with easy cleaning in mind. These feeders often come with parts that can be removed such as lids, bases, and feeding ports. This makes it convenient for cleaning.

3. Why Is It Important To Create a Garden That Is Friendly to Bees?

It’s crucial to create a garden environment that is welcoming to bees because it supports pollinator populations and helps maintain ecosystem health. Bees play a vital role in pollinating flowering plants, including many food crops and native wildflowers.

By planting flowers, reducing the use of pesticides and providing water sources, nesting spots and diverse habitats, gardeners can create a welcoming space for bees and other pollinators. Supporting bee populations is beneficial for biodiversity and the overall health of your garden’s ecosystem.

4. Why Is It Important To Keep Bees Away From Feeders Without Causing Harm?

Preventing bees from accessing feeders without causing harm is crucial. Bees are essential pollinators that are key to maintaining ecosystem health and biodiversity.

Bees play a vital role in pollinating flowering plants, including many crops crucial for producing fruits, vegetables and seeds. With global bee populations declining due to factors like habitat loss, pesticide exposure and climate change, preserving bee populations is vital for food security and production.

5. What Steps Can I Take to Protect Hummingbirds From Bees?

There are several preventive measures you can take to safeguard hummingbirds from bees near feeders. Using bee guards—mesh covers placed over feeder openings—ensures only hummingbirds can access nectar while keeping bees away. Regularly cleaning the feeder to reduce sugary residues around it also helps deter bees.

Encouraging bees to find water in muddy puddles or birdbaths instead of at the feeder can help divert their attention. Planting flowers that attract bees in the garden also offers them alternative food, keeping them away from the feeder.

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