honey for hummingbirds

harlan(S/Cen Tx)June 4, 2009

I usually make my hummingbird food by using 1/4 cup sugar to 1 cup water. Recently a neighbor told me she heard that you could use 1/4 cup honey in place of the sugar. Has anyone done this? I do not want to do any harm to my hummers.

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Do not ever use honey as it CAN be harmful to the hummers. Also, it is not advised to use the commercial red nectar! Just stick to the sugar water with the 4/1 ratio, and if your neighbor has feeders up, please tell her not to use honey!


    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 1:07PM
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hawkeye_wx(z5 east-central IA)

I don't know why anyone would want to use honey anyway, even if it was ok for hummers. Wouldn't that both be more expensive and turn your feeder into a sticky mess?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 2:21PM
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PLEASE be an advocate for Hummingbirds and tell your neighbor and everyone else who will listen to NEVER use honey!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 3:34PM
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harlan(S/Cen Tx)

Thanks all for your answers. I've been feding hummingbirds for years with the sugar water and had never heard about the honey before.
Something just did not seem right about it. I am glad I asked. thank you all again.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 7:41PM
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Honey causes the nectar to spoil faster - great idea huh? Besides that, think about hummingbirds eating honey?? It just doesn't make sense. Bees and humming birds both drink flower nectar, why would a hummingbird want to drink a bees honey? -Demisheep

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 9:29AM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

Why You Should NEVER Use Honey:

A honey water solution served up in hummingbird feeders can quickly become toxic and deadly. Honey rapidly ferments and also cultures a deadly bacterium. Contrary to popular belief, honey is not "more natural" than the cane sugar that is sold as white sugar. Honey has been chemically altered by honey bees: it is flower nectar and whatever ever else the honey bee ingested, digested, and spit back out again. Honey is nothing like the sucrose found in flower nectar and white sugar.

This is taken directly from the Garden Web FAQ on Hummingbirds. Feel free to print it and give it to your neighbor


    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 4:55PM
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Thanks for the information. I will share the information about the harmful effects of honey in hummingbirds.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 3:43PM
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