Keeping Bees Away From the Hummingbird Feeder

The heat of summer has been steady here in Carolina land.  Thankfully, no drought issues have developed. We’ve had a steady diet of showers and storms to keep things lush and green. For our nectar hunting bee friends however, we are in a time of nectar dearth.

What You Need To Know

  • Summer is a time when nectar is in short supply for honey bees
  • If bees are a bother, take your hummingbird feeder down for a few days
  • The hummingbirds will always come back to check if the feeder has returned

The spring awakening brings about plentiful nectar flow for our pollinating bee friends.  Hummingbirds and honeybees find plenty of nectar for food in the many variety of flowering plants and trees. Life and food are in abundance.  

Summer brings a lack of abundant nectar producing plants. Honeybees are programmed to hunt food sources and, often, hummingbird feeders with their sugar syrup water become that source from which to gather food.

If you see your hummingbird feeder busy with bees, and there could be a lot, give the feeder some room and have some patience.  The bees shouldn’t be aggressive towards you, they are pretty much fixated on getting to the sugar water and taking it back to their hive. 

So how do you tell the bees that the “sugar syrup store” has closed? Simple. Wait until the evening when the honeybees have stopped gathering food and take down the hummingbird feeder.  Keep the feeder down for about four days.  With no food source on their “must stop” list, the bees will get the message that this food source is no longer available and stop showing up.  You may have to do this several times during the next few months. 

Don’t worry about your hummingbirds, they are pretty loyal about constantly checking to see if their feeder is back and full.  But until it is, prepare for a few days of lecturing from your hummingbirds. In the end, the hummingbirds won’t have to fight for space at the feeder.