It's spring time and you’ve planted your garden to entice humming birds but you want to keep bees away from the beautiful flowers that attract them. The butterfly bush is ablaze with red flowers; the coral honeysuckle and azalea are blooming. The trumpet creeper vine and the Red Buckeye are sending out invitations. Humming birds love the color red.
To ensure the humming birds feel welcome, red humming bird feeders are placed through out the yard. They’re filled with homemade nectar, one part sugar equal to 4 parts water. Do not add red coloring, serve plain.
You’re sitting back and watching the dainty, colorful birds. The small fascinating creatures are zipping in and out, hovering at the bird feeders. Sipping the nectar and putting on a show. Then suddenly there’s an invasion of bees, driving off the humming birds.
Bees love the nectar also. However, the bees are attracted by the color yellow, not the red color humming birds favor. One way to discourage the bees is to transformer your feeders to all red. Make sure if there is any yellow flowers to paint them red. Red fingernail polish works well or non-toxic paint. If possible you can try to remove any yellow parts.
The nectar can also be made less appealing to the bees. Weaken the sugar water to one part sugar to five parts water instead of four parts water. This won’t brother the humming birds. They’ll still feed, but the bees will lose interest. Be sure to keep the feeder clean, wash between fillings and keep the outside clear of dripping nectar.
Moving the feeder from its regular spot to a nearby one will confuse the bees. You can also remove the feeder for one or two days, then put it back. If the bees can’t find the new spot, they will move on. Humming birds won’t give up as soon and the new location won’t bother them. A separate dish with two parts sugar and one part water can be set out for the bees to keep them away from the humming bird feeders.
Commercial bee and wasp guards can be purchased and attached to the feeders. They prevent the bees from reaching the nectar, but allow the humming birds to still feed. Good-bye bees.