Oro Valley, Arizona

Bees! Bees! Bees!

How Do I Keep Bees Off My Hummingbird Feeders?

(These methods are offered in no particular order and may have varying degrees of success; you may have to try them all)

  • WBU also carries some hummingbird feeders that are designed in such a way (basin or saucer style) that the nectar level can be kept too low for bees to reach, but easily within range of hummingbird tongues. Our feeders also come equipped with "bee guards" which are raised ports. (If you feed a lot of hummingbirds, it might be worth buying a new feeder in one of these styles to see if it makes a difference.)

  • Take the feeder down for a few days; bees can have short memory-spans.
  • Bees don't like vinegar - you can try putting it on the part of the feeder that the birds don't touch.
  • Try moving your feeder-preferably to a shady location (bees prefer feeding in the sun).
  • Bees may be attracted to anything yellow. If your feeder has fake plastic yellow flowers around the ports, either color them red or remove them.
  • Reduce the sweetness of the nectar from a 4 to 1 ratio (4 parts water to 1 part sugar) to a 5 or 6 to 1 ratio, and the bees will possibly leave. Bees require high levels of sugar in their diet. Using 5 or 6 parts water may be enough to keep the hummingbirds happy and make the bees leave.
  • Clean the feeder; make sure there is no spilled nectar on top of the feeder.

(Sources: Our customers.)