Fortunately, there are many easy and safe control techniques to keep insects like bees off hummingbird feeders without harming the birds.
Install bee guards
If your hummingbird feeder is bee proof, then that means you will make the feeding holes smaller so that no bees or other insects can get into it.
Some hummingbird feeders you buy will come with bee guards already built in place.
The first thing to consider is to buy a proper feeder with a bee guard, but if you already have a feeder, then you can just install a bee guard.
Choose certain shapes and colors.
One of the best ways to deter insects is to use hummingbird feeders that are specifically attractive to hummingbirds and not to bees.
Red, saucer-shaped feeders fill this niche nicely, as many wasps and bees prefer the color yellow over red. Hummingbirds, on the other hand, are quite partial to red.
Keep feeders clean
Feeders that leak will attract bees and pests. Frequently clean the outside base and the feeder ports with soapy sponge and lots of rinse water.
Use insect traps
Commercial insect traps and feeder accessories are available to minimize insects' access to nectar feeders.
While these can be effective deterrents, use them sparingly so you do not disrupt the insects' places in your backyard ecosystem.
Move the feeder around
Hummingbirds are pretty consistent when it comes to their food source. They remember where it is and they will return to the yard over and over in order to get it.
They will also look around for nearby feeders in the same yard, so moving the feeder to a different spot won’t usually discourage them.
Bees, however, are much more finicky. If you move their food source is moved too often to be convenient, they will find another, less ambulatory one.
There are still many other ways to achieve keeping bees away from hummingbird feeder without harming birds or bees. Understanding how both birds and bees act can help in our feeding dilemma.