How To Keep Bees Away From Hummingbird Feeders


How To Keep Bees Away From Hummingbird Feeders

Do you want to know how to prevent bees from visiting your hummingbird feeders?

Bees, wasps, and yellow jackets are just a few of the nectar-loving species that may unintentionally visit your hummingbird feeders.

These bees are a great annoyance, which is the issue. Hummingbirds have a lot of competition when there are hundreds of bees in a hive.

That implies that your hummingbirds are wasting energy chasing the bees away. or staying away from your feeders to prevent getting stung.

What’s worse? Bees (and other insects) can introduce bacteria and yeast into the sugar water. The nectar tastes strange as a result, which can deter hummingbirds from visiting.

To charge in with some insecticide could be alluring.

But refrain.

Hummingbirds are particularly vulnerable to insecticides. Even worse, the poisons could be lethal to their small bodies.

the wonderful news You may get rid of bees at your hummingbird feeder in a number of safe and efficient ways.

This article will outline 12 secure methods for deterring bees from visiting your hummingbird feeder.

Although this advise is intended to deter wasps and yellow jackets from your feeder, it also works to deter bees.

All right? So let’s get going.

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How To Keep Bees Away From Hummingbird Feeders

How To Keep Bees Away From Hummingbird Feeders

1. Get The Right Design

The easiest approach to prevent bees from visiting your hummingbird feeder is to choose one with a deterrent design.

There are two primary categories of hummingbird feeders:

  • Hummingbird feeders inverted
  • Hummingbird feeders in a saucer

Bees may be kept at bay much better with a tray feeder or saucer-style feeder.

The hummingbirds must suck the nectar through a long feeding port because of the saucer-style feeder’s construction. Hummingbirds’ large tongues make it simple to accomplish this.

Bees are unable to access the nectar since it is not readily available at the surface.

Bees and hummingbirds both prefer yellow and red.

Therefore, choose an all-red saucer hummingbird feeder to keep bees away from it (like this one).

2. Keep it on the Move

By routinely rotating your hummingbird feeder throughout your yard, you may keep bees at bay.


A bee will notify other bees of the precise location of a good food supply once it has been discovered.

Any invited bees won’t find anything there if you move the feeder frequently.

the positive news Bees want convenience, so they won’t look for the feeder in your yard. They’ll simply forget about it and move on.

You should have a bee-free feeder until a bee accidentally comes upon it.

For this reason, you must frequently move your hummingbird feeder.

At night, when there aren’t any bees around, try moving your feeder even a few feet.

You might be concerned that after the feeder is relocated, your normal hummingbirds won’t be able to find it.

That’s the nicest thing, I suppose!

Hummingbirds are intelligent. They will search the area for additional feeders if they are aware that one is present.

Moving your nectar feeders around your yard won’t bother your hummingbirds.

Moving your feeders on a regular basis will keep hummingbirds visiting and bees at bay.

Really, it’s a no-brainer.

3. Location, Location, Location

I now realize that you might find it difficult to relocate your feeder about your yard. In particular, if you don’t have much room to transfer your feeder somewhere.

In that situation, you ought to make the most of the space available for your hummingbird feeder.

Think about the surroundings of your feeder.

Everything that is yellow must be removed. That includes any flowers, decorations, or ornaments.

Bees are drawn to the color yellow, which makes it easier for bees to find your feeder.

Bees can be kept out of the area of your yard near your hummingbird feeder if your lawn is well weeded.

You should hang your hummingbird feeder there if your yard has a shaded region.

Because bees prefer to forage in full sunlight, a darkened area can help keep them away from your feeder.

4. Use a Guard

Some hummingbird feeders have the drawback of lacking or not having enough bee guards.

Even when a feeder has a bee guard in place, the bees aren’t always well kept at bay.

Or perhaps some of your bee guards have separated owing to exposure to the elements. That’s a huge problem because it creates a big opening for the bees to get to the nectar.

The deep tunnel that the bees need to get the nectar will be made on the feeder holes by using a bee guard.

Yellow is a common color for bee guards, which somewhat negates the intent of keeping bees away.

Therefore, my best advice is to stay away from the yellow bee guard and choose one that is red, clear, or white (like these).

5. Regular Maintenance

Bees will stay away if your feeder is as clean as possible.

Hummingbirds can have sloppy eating habits. Additionally, the feeder may swing due to wind or fights over it, spilling nectar from the ports.

The nectar may also swell and overflow during warm weather.

Bees are especially interested in any nectar that drips on the surface.

Cleaning frequently will assist in removing any drips or spills that are luring bees.

Keep an eye out for any damage or cracks that could lead to leaking while you clean your feeders. A hummingbird feeder that is leaking needs to be replaced.

Replace one of your feeder ports with a bee guard if it becomes detached. Or, to keep the bees away, tape it down with a sturdy piece of duct tape.

6. Give a better offer

A smart approach to keep bees away from your hummingbird feeders is to direct them to a more alluring offering.

One of my favorite ways to accomplish this is by adding sugar water to a small yellow bowl.

The sugar-water mixture I employ for the bees is significantly sweeter (and hence more alluring) to the bees. Here are my regular ratios:

  • 1 part sugar to 1 part water in the summer.
  • 2 parts sugar to 1 part water in the fall.

The bowl is then set down on the ground to keep bees away from the higher-up hummingbird feeders and down low.

Put a good, medium-sized rock or pebble in the center of the bowl at all times. Make sure a portion of the region protrudes above the water. The bees now have a tiny island to rest on and drink sugar water from.

Related Article: Hummingbird Feeder Ant Control

7. Lower Fill levels

Take your fill levels into consideration if you’re using a saucer-style feeder.

It is simpler for bees to access the sugar water or for it to spill if the tray is nearly full.

Consider filling your tray just a little bit less than usual. A nice level is when it is about halfway full.

By doing this, you add another barrier between the bees and the interior nectar.

Your hummingbird guests won’t be affected by the lower level. They’ll have no trouble using their tongue to get inside.

The only disadvantage of this approach is that you might have to restock your hummingbird feeder more frequently. The benefit of this is that your nectar stays fresh for the hummingbirds.

8. Go all red

The fact that most commercial hummingbird feeders have so many yellow feeding ports or decorations is one of my major pet peeves about them.

You already know that anything yellow will draw bees if you’ve been paying attention.

It doesn’t make much sense because red attracts hummingbirds more than any other color.

Maybe it’s to give the feeder a more floral appearance? If you know the solution, do let me know in the comments section.

But don’t let the presence of yellow components deter you from investing in a quality hummingbird feeder.

You can take care of this problem yourself.

I would advise painting the yellow components. Use non-toxic acrylic paint or multiple coats of red nail polish. My go-to paint is this Folk Art Outdoor paint.

Before putting the feeder out for your hummingbirds, make sure that any painted parts are completely dry.

9. Dilute the Nectar

By dilution, you can attempt to make the sugar water less alluring to bees.

If you make a really sweet nectar recipe for your hummingbird feeders, this will work nicely.

A 5 parts water to 1 parts sugar dilution is the most frequently advised method for keeping bees away.

Bees will seek out a sweeter food source because this is not sweet enough to draw them in.

The fact that this is a temporary fix is the only drawback, in my opinion.


Well, if you dilute the sugar water for the bees, the hummingbird is also impacted. They will therefore need to exert a little more effort to maintain their energy levels.

Additionally, it’s not completely foolproof because some bees can choose to drink the diluted nectar instead.

10. Fake wasp nest

Using a fake wasp nest, you might be able to keep some bee species, wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets away from your hummingbird feeders.

These spoofs take use of insects’ natural tendency to avoid wasp nests.

You can put them close to your hummingbird feeder to deter bees and wasps because they are affordable and easy to use.

Your hummingbirds shouldn’t be discouraged by nest decoys; they should keep feeding normally.

11. Use Almond Extract

The use of almond extract on hummingbird feeders is a household ritual for some backyard bird watchers.

Almond smell repels bees, and they will actively flee from it. The fragrance of almonds has no effect on hummingbirds.

You can accomplish this by swabbing the extract into the feeder ports with a cotton bud.

Avoid mixing the almond extract right into the sugar water. The extract’s ingredients may be detrimental to your hummingbirds.

If you decide to try this, use an almond extract that isn’t alcoholic, like this one. Hummingbirds can be killed by extract with alcohol.

You should also be aware that almond extract, not almond oil, should be used.

Any kind of oil should be avoided around your feeder ports because it might harm the hummingbirds’ feathers.

Tea tree extract is a wonderful substitute for almond extract if you don’t have any and want to keep the bees away.

12. Plant bee flowers

Planting a bunch of bee-friendly flowers in your yard is a natural approach to keep them away from your feeder.

Bees will be drawn away from your hummingbird feeders by a plentiful source of nectar from flowers.

Bees frequently visit perennial purple and blue flowers. So try:

  • Lavender
  • Bluebells
  • Aster
  • Salvia
  • Sage

However, don’t let this limit you. Bees are drawn to the beautiful flowers that are all around us.

It is preferable to combine this technique with others, such moving the feeders around and employing bee guards.

In your yard, the bees will have access to a different source of nectar. And the hummingbirds are free to savor their nectar feeders.

13. Wait it out

During the late summer and early fall, bees are frequently a problem at your bird feeders.

They are putting a lot of effort into accumulating a sizable food supply to support the hive over the winter, which is why.

The nectar from flowers is more difficult to find in the fall. A great place to find nectar is in your hummingbird feeder.

Bee activity is very low in the winter. Either they have moved, are hibernating, or group together for warmth.

You’ll see more bees in the spring and early summer. But they don’t appear to care about hummingbird feeders. The reason for this is because they have a plentiful supply of nectar from the blooming flowers.

As soon as the outside temperature drops below 50°F (10°C), bees will appear to vanish.

The bees will naturally disappear around November or December, depending on your state.

14.  Go large

1. Get The Right Design

If everything else fails, you might as well accept the maxim “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”

That is to say, attempt to make it easier for the hummingbirds to feed if you can’t stop the bees from visiting your feeders.

This is possible by:

Install bee guards in your hummingbird feeder. … Bees will definitely be diverted away from your hummingbird feeders if there is a plentiful source of nectar from flowers.Bees frequently visit purple and blue perennial flowers. So try:

  • Lavender
  • Bluebell
  • Astel
  • Salvia
  • Sage

Avoid letting this limit you, though. Bees are drawn to the attractive blossoms, which are abundant.


Why are bees all over my hummingbird feeder?

The ideal way to apply this technique is in combination with others, like moving the feeders around and employing bee guards.

How can I keep bees away from my hummingbird feeder?

The nectar in your yard will provide the bees with a substitute supply. The hummingbirds can peacefully eat from their nectar feeders.

Do bees scare hummingbirds?

At the close of summer and the beginning of fall, bees are typically a problem at your bird feeders.

Are hummingbirds afraid of bees?

This is a result of their tireless efforts to accumulate a substantial food supply that will enable the hive to survive the winter.

How can I keep the bees away from my hummingbird feeder?

Flowers’ nectar gets difficult to find in the fall months. The best place to get nectar is from your hummingbird feeder.


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Sarah Green

Wildlife and Nature Fan & Author