Aug 15, 2018 | Featured in: Watching Backyard Birds, August 2018

Dear Birdsquatch: Bees at the Hummingbird Feeder. What to Do?

A hummingbird approaches a feeder guarded by a bee.
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Dear Birdsquatch:

In the summer every year, my hummingbird feeder is overtaken by honeybees or yellow jackets. The hummingbirds can't get a sip. Is it okay to kill the pests with insecticide spray?

—Scott P., Enid, Oklahoma

Dear Steve,

No, it's NOT OK to spray any kind of insecticide near your hummer feeders, unless you want to harm your hummingbirds. Place a shallow saucer or jar lid with a small amount of nectar in it a short distance away to lure the bees and other sugar-loving insects away from your feeders. Move it farther away each day until the insects no longer visit the feeders. Our pollinators are having a hard enough time finding food these days without us making things worse. If you just can't stand it, or if my suggestion doesn't work, stop feeding the nectar for a few days and then start up again in a new location. But please, don't use toxic sprays. Better living through chemistry isn't a universal truth.



About Birdsquatch

Birdsquatch is WBB's tall, hairy, and slightly stinky columnist. He is a bigfoot who has watched birds all his life. His home range is unknown.

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