Pest Away Tips

9 Tips for Keeping Bees and Wasps Away From Hummingbird Feeders

Dealing with Bees and Wasps at Hummingbird Feeders

Hummingbirds are fascinating and beautiful creatures that are attracted to nectar-filled hummingbird feeders. However, bees and wasps can also be attracted to the sweet nectar, making it difficult for hummingbirds to feed.

In this article, we will discuss why bees and wasps eat from hummingbird feeders and how to keep them out. Why Bees & Wasps Eat From Hummingbird Feeders

Bees and wasps love to consume nectar, which contains simple sugars that they need for energy.

Hummingbird feeders have a nectar mixture that is similar to that of flowers that bees and wasps are naturally drawn to. Moreover, hummingbird feeders also provide access to an abundant and reliable source of food, making it a prime target for these insects.

How to Keep Bees and Wasps Out of Hummingbird Feeders

Keeping bees and wasps out of hummingbird feeders involves a few different strategies. One method is to use no-insect feeders, which are specifically designed to keep insects away.

These feeders feature a sealed nectar chamber that reduces the insects’ access to the nectar. Another technique is to use nectar guard tips that block the entrance of bees and wasps.

These tips fit perfectly onto the feeding ports, allowing the hummingbirds to feed while keeping insects out. You may also apply some petroleum jelly or vegetable oil to the feeding ports, which makes it difficult for insects to hold on and feed.

It is important to keep the feeders clean and the nectar fresh. A dirty feeder and stale nectar attract insects like bees and wasps.

Clean your feeder regularly using warm water, soap, and a brush. Also, try to avoid using yellow feeders as they often attract bees and wasps.

Instead, opt for red hummingbird feeders that are less attractive to bees and wasps. Moving the feeder location can also help discourage bees and wasps from feeding.

Consider placing the feeder in a different location or hanging it higher so that bees and wasps cannot reach it. Additionally, avoid setting up hummingbird feeders near flowers or plants that attract bees and wasps.

Another approach is to dilute the nectar mixture, so it is less appealing to bees and wasps. Mixing one part sugar to four parts clean water, instead of the regular one-to-one ratio, will attract fewer insects.

You can also use organic materials, such as herbs or spices, to mask the scent of the nectar. Some options include adding cinnamon sticks or bay leaves to the nectar mixture.

Lastly, it is vital to avoid using pesticides or spraying the bees and wasps. Pesticides also kill beneficial insects such as bees, wasps, and butterflies, causing harm to ecosystems and contributing to Colony Collapse Disorder.

Instead, use natural deterrents like pine, peppermint or pennyroyal essential oils or discarded cucumber peels. Bees, Wasps, and Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds, bees, and wasps all provide valuable contributions to the ecosystem.

They are connected to one another in various ways, and a decline in one population can negatively impact others.

The Overlap in Food Sources

Hummingbirds, bees, and wasps feed on nectar from flowers. They are essential pollinators, which helps to promote biodiversity by facilitating sexual reproduction in plants.

Insects also feed on insects that pollinate the flowers, making them an important part of the food chain. The Importance of Bees, Wasps, and Hummingbirds in the Ecosystem

Bees and wasps play a vital role in pollination, making it a crucial aspect in maintaining food production.

The decline of bee populations from Colony Collapse Disorder has had a significant impact on agriculture, affecting crop yield and food supply. Additionally, hummingbirds are also essential pollinators, and without them, many plant species would not survive.

Maintaining habitats for bees, wasps, and hummingbirds is critical. By providing shelter and natural food sources, we can help maintain their populations and reduce the likelihood of them being drawn to artificial food sources such as hummingbird feeders.

Natural Deterrents for Bees and Wasps

As much as bees and wasps are beneficial insects, we do not want them taking over our hummingbird feeders. Fortunately, there are natural deterrents that can help keep them at bay.

Cinnamon, pine, peppermint, and pennyroyal essential oils can all be used to create a repellent spray. Simply add a few drops of the essential oil to water and shake well.

Use a spray bottle to mist the area around the hummingbird feeders regularly. Cucumber peels can also help to keep insects away.

Simply peel a cucumber and place the skin around the feeder. The scent of the cucumber acts as a natural repellent, keeping bees and wasps at a distance.


Hummingbirds are undoubtedly fascinating creatures, and attracting them to your garden can be a delightful experience. However, dealing with bees and wasps at hummingbird feeders can also be a challenge.

With the right techniques and a proper understanding of the relationship between hummingbirds, bees, and wasps, it is possible to create a harmonious balance. By following our tips, you can welcome hummingbirds to your feeder without attracting too many unwanted visitors.

Bee Behavior and Hummingbird Feeder Modifications

If you’re a hummingbird enthusiast, there is nothing more exciting than seeing a hummingbird darting around your garden. Unfortunately, when bees swarm the feeder, they can be quite intimidating, causing hummingbirds to retreat.

Understanding bee behavior and making modifications to your hummingbird feeders can help minimize their presence.

How Hummingbird Feeders Attract Bees

Bees are attracted to hummingbird feeders for various reasons, including weather, high sugar volume, and leaks. During hot, dry weather, bees become dehydrated and seek out sources of water and nectar to quench their thirst.

Hummingbird feeders, which contain a sugar-water mixture, meet the needs of thirsty bees. Likewise, the high sugar content of hummingbird feeding solution is incredibly appealing to bees and can cause them to behave aggressively.

Lastly, leaks in hummingbird feeders can draw bees, so it is crucial to ensure the feeders are hung correctly to avoid any dripping.

Hummingbird Feeder Modifications to Keep Bees Out

There are modifications you can make to your hummingbird feeders to help keep bees from swarming. One option is to use no-insect feeders.

These feeders have specially designed feeding ports that prevent bees from feeding while allowing hummingbirds to drink without any problems. Since bees don’t have a long tongue like hummingbirds, they can’t feed from the small port, making no-insect feeders an effective solution.

Additionally, the feeder’s red color can deter bees since they are drawn to brighter colors, such as yellow. You may also want to consider buying saucer-style hummingbird feeders.

This type of feeder is designed to prevent the nectar from leaking out, which can attract bees. Bee guards are also available, which are plastic or metal screens that keep bees away from the feeding holes.

However, it is essential to ensure that the guards you choose do not obstruct hummingbirds from feeding. Lastly, you can try modifying your current hummingbird feeder by changing the feeding ports.

Consider purchasing small holes that only allow the hummingbirds’ long and narrow beaks through, making it difficult for bees to access the nectar. However, it is essential to note that this method may limit the feeder’s usage by smaller hummingbirds, so be sure to monitor the feeder to ensure that the larger birds have enough space to feed.

Bonus: Tips to Keep Bees Away from Your Hummingbird Feeder

Besides hummingbird feeder modifications, you can also try some additional tips to keep bees away from your feeder. 1.

Place a decoy feeder away from the hummingbird feeder to distract the bees. Fill the decoy feeder with water since bees are attracted to any standing water source.

2. Put a bee baffle above or below the feeder.

These baffles look like bowls and act as a barrier between the hummingbirds’ feeding port and the bees trying to enter. 3.

Hang a clean cloth or mister near the feeding area. When you mist the cloth or nearby foliage, it makes the bees feel as if it’s raining, which can cause them to avoid the area.

4. Use essential oils to repel the bees.

Clove, lemongrass, and thyme essential oils are all-natural options that can work to repel bees. Mix a few drops of the oil with water and mist the area around the hummingbird feeder.


With these tips and modifications, you can help keep bees away from your hummingbird feeder, creating a safe and enjoyable environment for hummingbirds to feed. A little bit of effort and modification can prevent stressful buzzing and fights between bees and hummingbirds, giving you a peaceful and beautiful backyard birding experience.

In conclusion, understanding bee behavior and making modifications to hummingbird feeders can have a significant impact on creating a harmonious environment for both hummingbirds and bees alike. Bees are essential pollinators and play a crucial role in maintaining food production, making it essential to protect their populations.

By using no-insect feeders, modifying the feeding ports, and implementing additional tips, we can keep bees away from hummingbird feeders while still providing hummingbirds with the food they need. With these simple modifications and tips, you can enjoy a beautiful and peaceful backyard birding experience, highlighting the importance of creating a harmonious balance between these two vital species in our ecosystem.

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