When will Ruby-throated Hummingbirds arrive this year?
- Clean the feeder inside and out. Don’t let sugar solution splash on the outside of the feeder as it is a further attractant to bees
- Fill the nectar level lower than usual so the bees can’t reach it through the ports in a tray-style feeder. Sometimes this is about half-way full
- Move the feeder even if it is a couple feet from the original location. When a bee “scout” finds the food, it tells the others exactly where to find the source of food. If the source is not in the same place, it will remain bee-free until another scout comes across it. The birds will not have an issue with it being moved
- A small bowl of higher concentration sugar water, like a 1:1, on the ground may ‘pull’ the bees to that source instead of the nectar feeder source
- Pure almond extract around the ports has anecdotally worked for folks in the past. It doesn’t seem to bother or harm the birds
- Check to see if there are any yellow parts on the feeder. Many popular hummingbird feeders have yellow feeder ports or decorations. Bees and wasps are attracted to the color yellow. Use bright red fingernail polish and paint over any yellow parts of the feeder. Apply several coats of nail polish, letting each dry before applying the next coat
- Place the feeder away from anything that is yellow in your yard. This includes yellow flowers, lawn ornaments or decorations. Again, the yellow color will attract the unwanted insects
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