Why not to use premade nectar in Hummer Feeders

penny1947(z6 WNY)May 30, 2011

I posted this info in another thread but thought maybe I should start a separate thread.

the premade nectar uses Red dye #40 and is suspected of causing liver damage to our already dwindling hummingbird population. It is also showing up in the honey combs of our bee keepers rendering the honey completely useless and it has to be thrown out. I moderate a hummingbird forum and we have a couple of field experts/banders that are members of our forum besides just everyday folks. We encourage people NOT to use the pre-made nectar but to use plain sugar water. The plain sugar water is as close to natural nectar and doesn't have any unnecessary chemicals that can cause harm to hummingbirds. Our local populations are are becoming more scarce over the years. Please reconsider your decision to use the premade junk. A 5# bag of sugar is a lot cheaper than buying the premade stuff. I can make many gallons of nectar from 1 bag of sugar.

The recipe is as follows: for each cup of water, use either 1/4 cup or 1/3 cup of sugar. I use 1/3 cup sugar in spring and then once the temps heat up and there are more nectar flowers blooming, I switch to 1/4 cup sugar. Make sure the sugar has completely dissolved before filling a feeder. Once it gets up above 75 degrees, the feeder should be cleaned and nectar replaced every 2-3 days so that the nectar doesn't ferment. A hummer will avoid fermented nectar or a dirty feeder.

If you want or need more information please feel free to Contact Me


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garden_frog(Z6 Western NY)

Thanks for the info Penny. I started using the homemade nectar a few years ago and have had plenty of success with it. Now if I could only stay on top of keeping the feeders filled/maintained.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 1:38PM
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