Print

Print


To discourage bees from the hummingbird feeders recommdations from Lanny
Chambers website below. Please note that he does not encourage the use 
of oils
on the hummingbird feeders.

I have used almond extract around the portals of my HummZinger feeders 
if I notice the
wasps or bees are bothering the hummingbirds too much. Seems to keep 
them at bay.
Have to do this every day.

Charlene Malone
St. Louis co.

-------------
*Bees, Wasps, and Yellowjackets*
Bees and wasps are attracted to the color yellow. Since many hummingbird 
feeders have yellow plastic "flowers" or other parts, try removing such 
parts or painting them red /before/ hanging your feeder in the spring - 
once bees learn where food is, they fly right back to the hive to tell 
all their friends, so avoiding their attention up front works best.

You can buy a feeder with bee guards. However, those tend to be the 
drippiest feeders available (Perky-Pet "Four Flowers," etc.), and once 
they start dripping the bee guards are useless, since puddles form in 
the flowers outside of the bee guards, an easy meal for insects.

Bees tell each other about good nectar sources using pheromones, so it 
may help to clean the feeder daily with vinegar. It may also help to rub 
a clove of garlic around the ports. I don't recommend using Pam or other 
oils or greases on hummingbrd feeders.

The only sure defense against bees and wasps is to absolutely deny them 
access to the syrup. In June 1997 I replaced my Perky-Pet 210-P with a 
HummZinger <http://www.hummingbirds.net/humzinger.html>, which is 
inherently wasp-proof because the syrup level is too low for insects to 
reach, but easily in range of the shortest hummingbird tongue. I also 
bought a Perky-Pet Oasis <http://www.hummingbirds.net/221.html> feeder, 
a copy of the HummZinger with several design flaws, but just as 
effective against bees. Basin feeders are also available from Opus and 
other companies, and all are effective in denying food to bees and 
wasps. All are also easy to clean.

If you choose not to try a new feeder and wasps persist, first try 
moving the feeder, even just a few feet; insects are not very smart, and 
will assume the food source is gone forever. They may never find it in 
its new location, while the hummers will barely notice that it was 
moved. If that doesn't work, take the feeder down for a day, or until 
you stop seeing wasps looking for it. You'll see hummers looking for it, 
too, but they won't give up nearly as soon as the wasps. Also, reducing 
the sugar concentration to 1 part sugar in 5 parts water will make it 
less attractive to insects, but probably won't make the hummingbirds 
lose interest.



------------------------------------------------------------
The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
ASM Website: http://mobirds.org/
ABA Birding Code of Ethics
http://www.aba.org/about/ethics.html