When you use the fresh nectar to attract the hummingbirds towards your nectar, some unwanted audience is also attracted like Bees, ants, hornets and some other insects as well. When all these uninvited audience come on your feeder, it’s become less attractive for the hummingbirds. Sometimes the hundreds of insects come towards your feeder and sometimes enter the nectar through feeding ports. After the bees and other insects attack, the nectar becomes harmful for the hummingbirds.
But you don’t need to worry about that. There are lots of ways to protect your nectar from these unwanted audiences. By knowing all these safe ways, you can protect your feeder and nectar from unwanted audience.
Ways to keep away the Bees from hummingbird Feeders
You can use different ways to keep the bees and other insects away from the feeder. But one thing you should keep in mind that you can’t keep the 100% Bees and other insects away from your feeder. There is some amount of insects that must attract your feeder. Yes, you can control their strength in multiple ways. You can divert the insects somewhere else instead of your hummingbird feeder. The most effective ways to keep the Bees away from your feeder are:-
1. Choose Specially designed ant moat Feeder
Some feeders are specially designed and they are less attractive as compared to other feeders. One example of this feeder is the saucer feeder, in this feeder, the nectar level is away from the feeding ports so the Bees and other insects are unable to reach there. But there is no issue for the hummingbirds with their long tongue. Some feeders have special built-in ant moat functions which stops the Bees and other insects to reach to the nectar. Some feeders have Bee guard to prevent the nectar from Bees. Sometimes the feeder doesn’t have the built-in ant moat but includes these facilities in the accessories. All these devices contain any liquid to prevent the nectar from insects.
2. Relocate the Feeder
When a hummingbird found a feeder in any yard, it will regularly visit this yard to found the feeder. It will also visit around this yard to found a better feeder. But the insects are mostly visiting the same location to found the feeder and take more time to found the new place of the feeder. You can relocate your feeder in your yard to minimize the bees and other insects. The relocation of feeder in your yard on small distances doesn’t affect the hummingbirds but it decreases the Bees and other insects. You can make several feeding stations in your yard to repeat this process. You can choose the different feeding stations on each refill to minimize the insects.
3. Avoid yellow Feeder
Some colors have special attraction for the Bees and other insects; try to avoid all these feeders. Yellow is one of the most attracted colors for the Bees and other insects. You can use the red color instead of yellow to minimize the Bee’s attraction. Sometimes the feeders have yellow ports that are more attractive for the insects; try to use the feeder with different color ports. If your feeder comes in yellow color ports, you can paint your feeder with different colors to minimize the attraction. But the paint should be non-toxic so it’s don’t cause any health hazards for the hummingbirds. In some feeders, you can also remove these yellow parts without affecting the feeder quality.
4. Cleaning of Feeder
Sometimes the feeder is overfilled and the air pressure inside the feeder force the nectar to drip out of the feeder. This dripped nectar attracted the insects towards the feeder. So whenever you refill your feeder, make sure you clean the feeder and all it’s surrounding to keep the Bees away from your feeder. Moreover, sometimes after a thorough cleaning, you don’t seal tight the leakage proof ring which causes the nectar leakage from the feeder. So every time you clean the feeder make sure you seal tight the leakage proof ring. Try to clean out the feeder on every refill and thoroughly clean your feeder once a month.
5. Insect traps
There is some insects trap available which you can use to reduce the insects in your yard. You can use these traps infrequently to interrupt the insects in your yard ecosystem. You can choose this trap for more problem causing insects and remove this trap when your feeder is not more facing this problem. These traps kill the insects so make sure to remove the trap when your problem is solved and try to use it for more problems causing insects only.
6. Hanging Feeder Carefully
Feeder hanging can also play an important role in reducing the insects on your feeder. When you hang your feeder with the pole, it’s become easier for the insects to reach the nectar. So try to hang your feeder with any branch or gutter to minimize the insects. Sometimes people use the fishing line to prevent their feeders from insects. The fishing line is very thin so maximum insects don’t climb there to reach the nectar. You can also use any thin material to hang your feeder.
7. Keep the feeder in shade
The maximum number of insects including the Bees is like to feed in full sunlight areas. You can place your feeder in any shadier spot in your yard to make it less attractive for the insects. By doing this, you can also prevent your feeder from quickly spoiling and fermentation. It is also helpful in the cleaning process because the shaded region reduces the chances of nectar leakage. Shadier region keep your nectar cooler so you don’t need to change the nectar early.
8. Hang a substitute feeder
If you have tried all the above ways but still you don’t satisfy, you can provide the insects and Bees with extra feeder which must contain the sweeter nectar as compared to another feeder. Preferably place this feeder in the sunlight to attract the maximum number of insects on that feeder as compared to another feeder. Moreover, try to take this feeder in yellow color which is more attractive for the Bees and other insects. This feeder will act like a diversion feeder for your actual feeder. The hummingbirds automatically distracted from this feeder due to a large number of insects and Bees.
9. Avoid other attractions
Bees and other insects are naturally attracted to your yard due to plants and flowers. Plants and flowers are also necessary to attract hummingbirds as well. But you can avoid all those plants which have more attraction for the Bees and other insects. You also need to prevent your garden from the uncovered trash, sugar cans, piles of manure, and all other things which are attractive for the insects. By doing this, you can minimize the extra food source for the Bees and insects which can minimize the insect strength in your garden.
Some Successful Techniques which you Should Avoid
There are some techniques which are used by the peoples at home. These techniques are useful and helpful to completely minimize the insect’s strength at your feeder but somehow it’s harmful for the hummingbirds as well. So we should need to minimize the use of all these techniques.
Sometimes the people use the pesticide chemicals to remove the Bees and insects from their feeder. But keep in mind that even a small amount of these chemicals can harm the little hummingbirds. So don’t use any king of chemical spray near your feeder. Yes, it’s completely reducing the insects from your feeder but it’s also harmful to the invited audience. Moreover, sometimes people use insects trap to kill the insects, make sure these traps are at a reasonable distance from the feeder to protect the hummingbirds.
Sometimes people use the oil outside the feeder to protect their feeder from the insects and Bees. This oil usually includes the cooking oil, olive oil, petroleum jelly, and some other slippery chemicals, especially around the feeding ports. Yes, this process can reduce the number of insects and Bees on your feeder but it’s also harmful to hummingbirds. These sticky chemicals are stuck with the hummingbird’s feathers which prevent the hummingbird from easy flying. Sometimes the hummingbird even can’t fly due to these sticky chemicals.
3. Not all insects are bad for your Feeder
All the insect species are not bad for your hummingbird feeder. Even those insects which are occasionally visiting your garden are not bad for your feeder. Some insects are like a protein source for the hummingbirds. Moreover, the bees are responsible for pollinating the flower which attracts the maximum number of hummingbirds towards your garden. So you can use the simple techniques to realize the insects that don’t disturb the hummingbirds as the insects are very important part of your ecosystem. You can read more about what hummingbirds eat.
Why the Bees and other insects attack my feeder?
Normally the Bees and other insects don’t need your feeder; they get their nectar from the flowers. The main reason for the unwanted audience on your feeder is a lack of food sources in your area. In the spring, there are a lot of food sources are available for the Bees in the form of flowers. But in the hot summer, when there are no other food sources are available the bees attracted to your feeders to get the nectar. Moreover, in hot summer your feeder may be the closest spot for the Bees to get any kind of water.