HELP! Bees Swarming Hummingbird Feeder

hummersndogsAugust 18, 2009

I have a hummingbird feeder which has been undisturbed all summer. This morning, I noticed a couple of bees. Before I realized there was a problem and removed the feeder, they were swarming. They still are -- there are probably two dozen bees swarming it at all times.

The feeder is about half full, and it's going to take a long time for them to empty it. It is located such that the bees are impossible to avoid if I (or my dogs) go outside.

1. Is there any way to get them away from the feeder long enough to get it taken down?

2. Is there then anyway to keep them from the feeder?


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Do you have bee guards on the feeder?

Does the feeder get direct sun? This often causes the feeder to leak, which is probably what is attracting the bees.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 5:54PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

Why does it matter?The hummingbirds can still use the feeder, bees aren't likely to sting anyone who doesn't really bother them, and they probably wont eat much of your nectar either. Unless you are deathly allergic to bees you should be able to simply reach up and grab the feeder with little apprehension.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 6:55PM
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I'd advise you to keep an eye on the feeder, bees don't swarm it all the time, find a time of day when there are fewer bees, early or late in the day. You should be able to take it down with no problem, move slowly, and don't wear blue color clothes, it's bees favorite color and will spend some time investigating you to see if you have pollen they can harvest. Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 9:36AM
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Chances are it is yellow jackets that are around the feeder, if so, put a piece of meat a few yards away from the feeder and the yellow jackets will go for that too, and you will know that they are yellow jackets and not honey bees (which are not attracted to meat). Yellow jackets are more aggressive than honey bees and should not be messed with during daylite hours.
Wait til dark and take the feeder down.
If they are honey bees take the feeder down (if you are afraid of bees, again do this at night) and leave it inside for a few days. Honey bees will discover their nectar source is gone and move on. they have short memories and will forget it was ever there until a scout finds it again. I doubt it is honeybees because the feeder is not what they would consider a good source of nectar unless there is nothing else available. I have hives and feeders and the only tijme I have any problems with bees at the feeder is with yellow jackets, which sends me around the yard in search of their nest, so I can destroy it.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 9:13PM
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