Saturday, July 7, 2018

The Birds and the Bees etc.

Recently, we have been having some problems with bees visiting our Hummingbird feeders. I like bees, we need bees BUT…
Hummingbirds find them irritating at best and dangerous at worst. So, what do you do?
It has been suggested that if you move the feeder a short distance away, the bees get really confused and it will take time for even one of them to find the feeders in the new location…then the successful scout must go all the way back to relay the new place info to the hive. They cannot just tell their buddies at the source site. I tried this method….and yes it does work for a while.
Saucer style feeders are the best because they are not so prone to leaking and the bees seem to find it harder to reach the sugar solution. Bees are more attracted to yellow and Hummingbirds are more attracted to red…so there is a choice here too.
Try to plant bee-attractant flowers in your garden and hope!
Also, do NOT use the “red nectar” sold in stores because it is deemed bad for the birds ( ) and keep to a 3-1, or 4-1 ratio of water to plain sugar (NOT HONEY) …. 3-1 for colder days and the other for warm days (All a matter of energy).
Wasps are another issue and I set wasp specific traps (Google for them) and I do chemically discourage them too (if you see what I mean).
To prevent ants…be sure to purchase feeders which have ant dams at the top or hang your feeders with fishing line ( ant’s athletic skills do not run to scaling such a thin access “rope”).

1 comment:

  1. Not really relevant, but I have never lived anywhere where there were humming-birds - at least I did not know of their existence in Sierra Leone which is the only tropical country I have lived in. What I do have here in Spain, in late August, are horrible little ants in the kitchen. You put anthing down for a few minutes and then find a line of small black ants leading mostly back to the rubbish bin or plastic bag waiting to be thrown out (and hopefully recycled). The ants are not there for most of the year, and this year I checked the date when they appeared - about 20th July. That was the same last year. (I didn't check the exact date).So despite the kitchen being thoroughly cleaned, they still reappear from somewhere. In the previous flat they formed a line to a gap under the door. No doubt fascinating biology but I am sick of them. I left the top pff a jar of jam for half an hour, and the jam now has a layer of small black ants in it. Did the ants evolve before I did? Probably.