;D Help! I have tried every kind of feeder on the plant! The best choice I always have available are the plants themselves but feeders seem to supplement the hummingbirds very well. The problem was squirrels drinking all the sugar water. I fixed that by putting the feeders in a place inaccessible to squirrels. Then the bees came and swarmed the feeders. The hummingbirds missed the feeders and the bees all got trapped inside the feeders and died. Is there a solution?
Post by Steve Backes on May 16, 2009 13:52:17 GMT -5
Susan Pulling posted to the Network54 forum regarding a pheromone baited wasp/yellow-jacket trap. I'm not sure if that will help with bees.
I've had a similar problem since the hurricanes in 2004. I don't know how much is coincendence and how much is really connected but within days after Jeanne came through, we had a large swarm in the neighborhood. I'd actually had wasp problems before that and haven't seen one since.
We've had bad times and good times since. It was less of a problem when things got cold but once things warmed up, and there were no flowers, they swarmed the feeders. Our last banding session got called on account of too many bees in the cage (and the need to get to a super bowl party).
I don't have an answer. I just live with them. I offer many feeders so there is usually a port available to the hummers. It is frustrating when they get into the solution or, in the case of the perkypet four fountain feeders with the yellow bee guards, they get their heads caught in the guard.
There are ways of eliminating the bees, but bee populations are suffering. Bees are important pollinators of many of our plants, and are especially to our citrus and vegtable industries so I won't suggest any of them.
Most people I know of take the feeders down for a spell if the bees get too bad in hopes that they'll move on. Hopefully, the hummers don't. They can survive on insects for a short period of time.
Post by Steve Backes on May 16, 2009 14:11:51 GMT -5
An interesting side note to this discussion is that with the drought, my bees have been swarming my birdbaths. It's not as bad today as it was a few days ago before the rains but here's a photo I took today of two of them getting a drink.
Post by ryanclairecarl on Aug 29, 2009 14:25:17 GMT -5
Hi I'm a new member and will be puttting a feeder up on our front porch in the shade. A large picture window looks out onto the porch so I am hopeful for good viewing. Will movement in the house scare the birds? Also regarding the nectar solution, is it best to use just water and sugar or should I add food coloring?
Post by Steve Backes on Aug 29, 2009 15:21:10 GMT -5
I've got a similar set up outside my living room window. Unless it's lighter inside than outside, I wouldn't expect any real issue. We will occasionally spook a hummingbird from the feeder if we move too quickly while close to the window but for the most part, the hummingbird will return to finish its drink.
Regarding the nectar solution, I recommend making your own using a 1:4 or 1:3 (parts sugar:water) solution with no coloring. It's been suggested, but not proven, that the dye may be harmful to the birds. Why take a chance. The feeder has more than enough red color on it to attract the hummingbird.
I am new at this. A few weeks ago I put up 3 feeders in Grant Valkaria, Fl. I saw my first hummer about a week ago on the nastiest, cold, drizzly day you can imagine. He was very small, very fast and came to a feeder twice and left in just a couple of seconds.
Question: Will bees deter the hummers from feeding? I live about 1.5 miles from about 120 hives, and the bees have swarmed my feeders. I will always have this problem unless there are some ways to deter the bees. Now that almost all flowering plants were killed by our record prolonged cold snap, I fear that I am the bees best hope for food.
Post by Steve Backes on Jan 24, 2010 21:22:06 GMT -5
Hummingbirds may avoid a feeder if there are too many bees but they will also look for the opportunity to feed. I watched one stick its bill through four bees to get into a feeder yesterday.
I don't have a good solution to dealing with bees other than to clean the feeders often and to offer additional feeders. I've found that the feeders that are usually in shade have fewer issues with bees. Trying different types of feeders may make a difference as well.
Bees a problem? 1. Feeders with yellow flower ports are more susceptable! Yellow colors are more attractive to bees than Red. 2. I spoke with Perky Pet product developement folks and they said (sep 09) they would again make the red bee guards available vs. the yellow guards. The bee problem as you can imagine is not a country wide problem. Some areas (FL) for sure have the problem, but not everywhere, hence the reason that so many feeders incorporate yellow in the color scheme.