Several (15+) years ago, I opted to suffer the bees.

I had just installed/hung the season's first hummingbird feeder without
the bee guards.

Within a few days and prior to the hummers showing up, we noticed nectar
was all over the window.  I was confused until I saw a male Northern
Oriole land on the feeder and chow down.  When he'd push off, the nectar
would go a-fly'n.

This old Perky Pet feeder (still sold) has the four red blooms at the base
with larger openings, large enough opening to allow the Orioles (Orchard
Orioles use it too) to use the feeders.

I have kept the (yellow) bee guards off these feeders ever since that day.
 In fact, I use the nectar covered window as a signal each spring to put
out the grape jelly.

As the feeding season lengthens, we continue to have a steady flow of the
female/immature Orioles still using these type feeder. We are feeding
Orioles today.

It's our opinion that the reason we have always attracted and kept a large
number of Orioles is due to their ability to feed throughout the
Hummingbird feeding season.

Not knocking the bee guards (at least not the nice safe straw type
mentioned here) but I wanted to offer a reason why you might not wish to
install them on every feeder.

It's interesting, since we've planted the 8-9 acres around our home with
warm-season native grasses and flowers, the Orchard Orioles are much more
abundant.  It's not an orchard, but they are seen all over the prairie
grasses and annual weeds/flowers on a regular basis.   Just a side note.

Bob Foreman
Smithville, Clay, Missouri

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