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How to Keep Bees from Hummingbird Feeder?

how to keep bees off hummingbird feeder

Having a hummingbird feeder is almost a requirement for serious birdwatchers. However, aside from hummingbirds, the feeder will also attract bees. If you have a large property, this would not be much of a problem. However, if you have a small yard, the bees might find their way inside your house.

You need to learn how to keep bees from hummingbird feeders so that you do not have to deal with the kind of problems that wild bees can bring. This article will teach you a couple of methods of how you can ward the bees away without harming them in any way.

Step-by-Step Guide

Method 01: Color the Feeder Red

drive bees away from hummingbird feeders

There is a reason why most hummingbird feeders are red. Hummingbirds are attracted to red while bees are attracted to the color yellow.

What to prepare:

  • Yellow acrylic paint – Choose the water-based variant as those are much safer to use.
  • Paint sealant
  • A small paintbrush

Detailed steps:

Step 1: Empty the hummingbird feeder and clean it thoroughly. If you can, wait until the hummingbird feeder is empty. Once it is, you need to clean it thoroughly and allow it to dry completely.

Step 2: Prep the feeder for painting. Once the feeder is clean and dry, get it ready for painting. If you want to paint the entire thing, you have to sand the entire surface and paint it with a primer. If you just need to repaint the yellow accents, just sand the small details and use a small brush to paint them yellow.

Step 3: Seal the paint. Once the yellow paint has dried, seal it to prevent it from chipping. If the hummingbirds accidentally ingest paint chips, they might make them sick. Just brush or paint 1 or 2 coats of sealant to keep the paint in place.

Step 4: Refill and replace the hummingbird feeder. After the paint and sealant have completely dried and cured and once the chemical smell has dissipated, you can refill the feeder and return it to its original location.

Method 02: Install Nectar Guards

how to keep bees away from bird feeders

A nectar guard will make the opening of the hummingbird feeder narrower and deeper, making it more difficult for bees to access the contents.

What to prepare:

  • Enough nectar guards for the feeder

Detailed steps:

Step 1: Purchase the right nectar guards. There are many nectar guards that you can choose from, and lots of them are available online. Choose the one that fits in your hummingbird feeder.

Step 2: Install the nectar guards. The nice thing about nectar guards is that you can install them quite easily. Most nectar guards just need to be inserted into the feeder ports. You do not even need to empty the feeder to install them.

Method 03: Plug Leaks

color the feeder red

Aside from feeding through the ports, bees can also access the sugar water through tiny leaks that you need to plug up immediately.

What to prepare:

  • Teflon tape
  • Rubberized tape

Detailed steps:

Step 1: Detect the leaks. Typically, the first place you have to check is the threads of the feeder. If the treads have gotten a bit loose, the sugar water can drip out. Even a little leak will be enough to attract a lot of bees.

Step 2: Empty and clean the hummingbird feeder. Wait until the feeder is empty and then take it inside and clean it thoroughly. While you are washing the feeder, you can take this time to check where the leaks are exactly located.

Step 3: Plug the leaks. If the treads are loose, you can tighten them a bit by wrapping some Teflon tape around the threads before closing. You need to be careful not to get too much of the tape in contact with the sugar water as the chemicals in the tape might cause adverse reactions in the bees.
If there are small cracks on the feeder, you can plug them up by slapping a bit of rubberized tape over them.

Step 4: Refill the feeder and put it back in its stand. Take this chance to test and check if there are still any leaks that you have missed. Once you are satisfied, refill the feeder and place it back in its place.

Why Do You Need to Drive Bees Away From Hummingbird Feeders?

The biggest reason why you need to know how to keep bees away from bird feeders is that they can potentially harm hummingbirds. If a bird that is as small as a hummingbird gets stung by a bee, the amount of venom pumped into the poor bird will be enough to kill it. And it has been witnessed that bees can swarm hummingbird feeders and attack the birds.

In addition, if bees have taken over your yard, it will put your and your family’s safety at risk, especially if anyone in your family is allergic to bee stings. Although bees provide a lot of benefits, it is always best if their hives are located far from your home. Keeping your hummingbird feeder inconvenient to use for bees is one way to keep them at bay.


Even though bees are essential to the health of the environment in general, there is no doubt that they can be quite problematic if they are left to their own devices. Knowing how to keep bees from hummingbird feeder will help you attract more hummingbirds into your garden.

However, you will also be discouraging bees from partaking, and you will be doing so in a humane manner.

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