2 questions

theosof(SE.PA)August 14, 2010

What is the situation with wasps? Our hummers are deathly afraid- I've even seen the wasps chase the birds from the feeders. Would the wasps actually sting them? Is there anyway to keep the wasps away?

We had one feeder up and there was a lot of squabbles so we put another up. Now there are squabbles at both. I've seen pictures of many birds feeding together quietly but that never happens around ours. Any clues? Such drama goes on!Like a reality tv show.

Any suggestions to either question?

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tima9209

Destroying nearby nests is the most important thing. It's common for wasps to nest in attics, so you have to watch them for a while and see if they go into gaps around your roof and soffits. Sometimes, you get some very stupid wasps that walk endless circles around the feeder ports trying to lick up nectar the chirpers drip from their bills and/or tongues. I go out with a broom and shoo them away, and within a couple of attempts, they always fly several feet below the feeder, and that's when I zap 'em with bug spray.

As for competition at the feeders, I don't know anything to do but put out more feeders, and if possible, remove nearby perches. I'm about to take down some sunflowers myself...

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 1:17AM
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hummersteve

If anyone has wasps I have them. The last couple of years I tried the wasp traps yeah I trapped a couple hundred wasps so all that does is draw more wasps. Yes try to stop wasps from building new nests such as in the eves of your home or under porchs or in sheds etc. Wasps will always try for the easier moisture steal such as dripping feeders. Along with my other feeders this year I added a hummzinger excel in which wasps still tried for a while to get something from it but have since moved on to others. So that is one good choice , another is moving your feeding even a few ft , wasps are dumb creatures, creatures of habit. Another trick is providing a super sweet feeder mix just for the wasps or even a bowl of such. Even take the feeders down for a down or two. This still works if you have lots of hummer plants hummers will still be around but will fuss about having their feeders removed.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 11:30AM
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rob_a(9)

I have wasps as well, but I noticed that when larger birds (house finches) used my feeders their weight caused the feeders to tip over and spill nectar attracting wasps and ants. I use guards at the ports to keep the larger birds off. Now I have almost no spillage to attract the wasps.

Yesterday I watched a wasp chase a hummer off a feeder. They are afraid of them and I think a wasp sting to a hummer might be fatal. Strangely though, I have watched hummers chase bees away from my flowers. Go figure!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 4:53PM
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mjkpuff

Gee theosos.... Between a neighbor and myself, we have 5 feeders, (me 3, her 2)and 3 maybe 4 hummers. Her feeders are 80/? feet from mine. There is 1 female that sits sentry in the tree, where she can see BOTH of our feeders.Its like watching dogfights in the sky.Sometimes the others get lucky.. so funny watching them looking over they're shoulder as they slurp up a drink or two.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 5:05PM
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