Bees, wasps and ants are some of the most common insects that compete for food with hummingbirds. These insects can be frustrating because they often travel in large numbers and cause massive setbacks. There are different ways of keeping away the bees particularly from hummingbird feeders. When choosing a method of dealing with these insects, you should consider your safety, the safety of the birds as well as the safety of the insects. Feeders can be modified to reduce the impacts of bees or completely stay free of them. Here are a few tips on how to bee proof hummingbird feeders.
Reduce the size of holes
Most feeders have a number of holes where the birds access the food from. The best thing to do when shopping for feeders is to look for those that have the smallest holes. If you happen to buy a feeder that has large holes that bees can access however, the simple quick fix is to reduce the size of the holes. You can do this with insoluble paper and glue. To do this, you need to make small round holes on circular pieces of paper. Then you can open up the feeder and stick the papers around the large feeder holes from the inside with glue. Other safe material can also be used to reduce the size of the holes in case paper is not readily available.
Reduce the number of holes
Some feeders also have a large number of holes that sometimes serve no purpose. If your feeder has more than ten holes for instance, you can cover some of them as they only increase the amount of feed you use. Reducing the number of holes also reduces the chances of attracting insects like bees. It is important to use rational measures in such a way that the space between each hole is sufficient enough for easy access. You can fill up or cover unnecessary holes with safe material like gum or molten plastic.
Relocate the feeder for a while
Bees are communal insects that are very organized. The behavioral patterns of bees can do a lot in helping you deal with the insects. Bees for instance have scout members that look for food and shelter before the whole swarm joins in. If you happen to spot a few bees around your feeders, you can remove or relocate the feeder for one or two days and by doing this you will have driven them away. Hummingbirds do not have this behavior and will always return once the food is available.
Bee proof hummingbird feeders require maintenance every once in a while. As opposed other insects, bees are attracted to the nectar as easily as hummingbirds and they thus pose the biggest risk to the birds. Checking the feeders for tenacity should therefore be a routine that you cannot afford to skip. Following these tips will also give you an advantage over the bees and ensure you a chance to attract and view more birds in your home.