Bees Scaring Off My Hummies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

catwhiskas(z5 Denver, CO)August 8, 2005

Since yesterday it seems the bee population has exploded in my backyard!

I have noticed a bee propped inside the port of almost every Hummie feeder. My Hummies are coming to feed and getting frustrated and discouraged by these bees. Any suggestions???


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bobky(z6 Ky)

Do you have a saucer-type feeder without colored flowers on it? I don't see bees on mine.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2005 at 4:19PM
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The color yellow attracts insects - bees go for yellow over red. Hummies seem to zoom in on anything red first.

You might try changing out your feeder ports to something in red...if not...well, you could try to set some yellow colored bowls or dishes with nectar in the far corners of your yard. Hopefully the bees will find those first and re-route their flight paths to that area.

I did that a couple of years ago...and used a stronger nectar solution (got rid of all the red colored nectar I had too).

Hope that helps.

~ Cat

    Bookmark   August 8, 2005 at 5:57PM
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I hate those dratted embedded messages that get linked to my posts! Blame the village id!iots!!!

~ Cat

    Bookmark   August 8, 2005 at 6:10PM
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I'm having the same problem with the yellowjackets; there seems to be alot more this year, and they're extremely aggressive. It must have something to do with the lack of rain here in NJ. I'm thinking about putting up my butterfly feeder, which is yellow. Maybe it'll discourage them from visiting the hummer feeder...

Disclaimer: I do not agree with nor endorse the use of "Sponsored Links" possibly imbedded in my posts by the owner of this or any other website. Now, knock it off iVillage!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2005 at 9:08AM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

Yeah - I've been getting this sort of thing going on:

However of late, I'm finding my hummies are handling them pretty well - managing to scare them off with their sudden movements. Plus I've been spritzing the base and external portion of the ports with plain water to keep the sugary spills from accumulating and drying there as an attractant.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2005 at 9:28AM
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catwhiskas(z5 Denver, CO)

Does anybody know if painting the yellow flowers red would harm the Hummies???

    Bookmark   August 9, 2005 at 10:41AM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

The wasp in your picture is much less agressive than a yellow jacket. I believe that is the beneficial type which preys on the small worms which eat my roses and perennials. Yellow jackets have similar colors, but are heavier or thicker. It seems that by mid August, they are done with their nest duties and have a lot of spare time to visit hummingbird feeders and soft drink cans. A major problem here in the early fall.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2005 at 8:14AM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

harryshoe - I was doing some checking and that is apparently some type of paper wasp. I know I get alot of different insect critters on my balcony and those are in abundance at the moment, hanging around the feeder. There must be a nest up on my building's roof or in a tree down below somewhere.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2005 at 8:45AM
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catwhiskas(z5 Denver, CO)

I used red nail polish and painted the yellow flowers on the feeding ports yesterday. I waited till dry and hung the feeders back outside. Within hours they were loaded with bees evidently color doesn't matter all that much. I checked real closely this time and these are Honey Bees.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2005 at 5:30PM
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Go to a hardware store and get a yellowjacket trap they work great or let an apple or two rot in a place in your yard far from the feeders that will keep the bees and wasps busy and they will leave the feeders alone . hopefully . homedepot carries the traps.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 1:36AM
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I suddenly have two HUGE bees, and they aren't after the feeder, but the plants around the feeder - the agastache and the streptocarpella - which the hummers feed on too - they seem to be more prevalent during the day, and in the evening the hummers, who chase them, can come back - but they bend the flower stems over hanging on to them - will try a rotten apple -


    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 9:32AM
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catwhiskas(z5 Denver, CO)

The yellow jacket trap won't work at all as it doesn't attract honey bees - this is what I have. I will try the rotten apple.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 10:42AM
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ornithophilous(z4 MN)

catwhiskas: I think painting the flower ports red was not a bad idea idea--it was just that the bees had already found the feeders earlier when the ports were yellow. It would only take one bee to find the feeder, because it can then communicate to her hivemates where the nectar source is with her dance. I think red ports could help prevent new bees from finding the ports quite so quickly.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 3:08PM
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We have three feeders that we have kept filled this summer...we have a couple dozen hummingbird around and that is probably a low estimate. It sometimes seems a herculean job to keep the feeders full given the hot, dry, no rain, most everything that blooms has died or gone dormant kind of weather we have had up till this weekend when we actually had some substantial rain and cooler temperatures. We have a lot of mud dobbers that frequent out is really pretty amazing that the hummingbirds sometimes wait them out to is almost like they understand that it is tough times and everybody will get to eat if they just stand in line. Now when it comes to the birds themselves...they are quite amazing...some are quite docile and sit and feed quietly...some sample from each spout and move on, some are ADD and act kind of paranoid, some have actually knocked others out of the way, some spread their tails out and act like they are in charge whatever that means to them...but the bottom line is that eventually we believe that they all are probably getting enough to eat and have figured out the pecking order for the bunch that lives around here...we have plenty of sugar to spare that we make their feed with since our peaches perished this summer with the drought. We will feed them till they take off for their winter vacation south. Anyway, we pretty much let nature take its course, just as if our feeders were flowers in nature, "he who gets there first...gets to eat". We hope our food pantry helps some if not all of them!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2005 at 10:53PM
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RodeoSquirrel(zone 6 SePA)

i just put out my HB feeder a few days ago, i have one female RTHB. the feeder is the saucer kind like the picture above, but for some strange reason it cant stay straight, it leans to one side making it fuller on one side than the other. it says it holds 15 oz maybe i have too little sugar water in it? i put 1/4 cup sugar to one cup of water.
well there are about 4 honey bees that seem to be in the way of the hummer when she feeds. she gets in some good sips but the bees are right at her feet. im worried she will be stung? being so tiny i would imagine a bee sting would kill her??

    Bookmark   August 20, 2005 at 6:32PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

One of my feedrzs is same one that Jenny posted a picture of. This is the first year I have had problems with the yellow jackets or bees at the feedr I had the bee guards off when I hung it for the first time this year and had to put them back on as I had a bee get in through the porthole. They don't seem to bother my saucer feedrz because I keep the sweet stuff down a little so that they can't reach it. I also have a yellow jacket trap that I use but several have figured out how to enter and exit at will so they go in slurp sugar water and fly back out.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2005 at 8:32PM
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To stop the bees from feeding on your hummingbird feeders rub vegetable oil on the tips, it works!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2005 at 11:21PM
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I finally poured some sugar wateron a potted plant I have. I don't know what kind it is but has tiny red flowers on it the Humsingers don't pay any attention to it. The bumble bees and wasps/hornets love it so I gradually moved it to a bush on the other side of the front and hope they all hang out over there.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 6:14PM
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Well, I have been out here for the last 1 1/2hours fighting off these bees....just tried the vegetable oil thing....will let you all know!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 8:37AM
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