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Honey bees on feeders

August 25 2012 at 9:35 AM

  (Login Pennytoo)
Hummingbird Moderator 2005

This is the first time I have ever had a problem with honey bees on my feeders. I am assuming it is because it has been so dar dry that the flowers aren't producing as much nectar or else the bumble bees are taking over as I have a lot of both honey and bumble bees this year. Gotta get out there and finish watering to kee4p those honeys away from the fee4ders.

Penny
NY
USDA hardiness zone 6a
Heat zone 4
Sunset zone 39
North_Tonawanda.gif

 
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(Login sarahbn)
Feathered Friends Moderator 2005

Re: Honey bees on feeders

August 25 2012, 9:54 AM 

Penny I have a problem with my window feeder and wasps. I mentioned it to a friend of mine who said she never has that problem. She thinks it could be the humbrella and the fact that she changes the sugar water daily.I don't know what kind of feeder she uses.

sarah merion station, Pennsylvania zone 6B
Merion_Station

 
 


(Login Pennytoo)
Hummingbird Moderator 2005

Re: Honey bees on feeders

August 25 2012, 10:15 AM 

I have always had a problem this time of the year with yellow jackets but never honeybees. I am trying to get everything soaked down really well in hopes that nectar production will increase in the plants. We are supposted to be in the 90's again at least today and tomorrow and it doesn't seem to matter what kind of feeder I have up ....bottle, saucer, test tube, single port multi port ... they are all over all of them. We also didn't have any clover for them this year because of the heat and drought. I am seriously thinking of putting a large plant saucer of nectar out in the middle of the yard, maybe they will find that and gravitate to it.

Penny
NY
USDA hardiness zone 6a
Heat zone 4
Sunset zone 39
North_Tonawanda.gif

 
 

(Login sarahbn)
Feathered Friends Moderator 2005

Re: Honey bees on feeders

August 26 2012, 8:05 AM 

Penny I know this won't help but it's an interesting tidbit I learned about honeybees last spring.

Every spring and fall we have bird walks at Haverford college. Sometimes the husband of our leader joins the walk. So this past May he found a living honeybee hive and showed it to us. It was on a tree. He told us that they were searching for a place to build a hive and were huddled together on the tree to keep warm and would hopefully find a place to set up their hive.It was really fascinating

sarah merion station, Pennsylvania zone 6B
Merion_Station

 
 


(Login Pennytoo)
Hummingbird Moderator 2005

Re: Honey bees on feeders

August 26 2012, 8:23 AM 

Thanks Sarah,
That is interesting. I really enjoy watching the bees. I was wondering last night as they were working over all the David Verity Cupheas where they go at night as I never really see the go anywhere but then all of a sudden they are gone.

Penny
NY
USDA hardiness zone 6a
Heat zone 4
Sunset zone 39
North_Tonawanda.gif

 
 
Indy Steve
(Login Stevenindy)
Hummingbird lover 2007

Re: Honey bees on feeders

August 26 2012, 7:27 PM 

Penny

I have always had a large volume of bumblebees but this year seems like more than ever, wasps are about the same as normal, but I dont have any honeybees that Ive seen. I noticed on that CBS special on hummingbirds out west there were a lot of honeybees on one feeder. The special was about helping out the hummers but the honeybees are having the same problem but it wasnt mentioned. Have you tried cutting down on the sweetness of your mix temporarily to see if that helps? Unless that got way out of hand Im not sure if I would do anything unless the bees were taking over and keeping the hummers from feeding.

Steve
Martinsville, In
Heat zone 6
Sunset zone 35

[linked image]




 
 


(Login poorbs)
Hummingbirder 2012

Wasps

August 26 2012, 7:41 PM 

Penny,

I've had a problem with red wasps year after year, but this year, when I sprayed my foundation to keep crawling bugs from entering the house though the weeper holes, I also sprayed the areas under my eaves where the red wasps normally nest. This year I had no red wasps, just mud daubers, and they're not as aggressive as the red wasps. Maybe if you find out where your wasps are nesting, you could limit them that way. FWIW

Bill

Northeast Texas
Plant Hardiness Zone 8a

 
 


(Login Pennytoo)
Hummingbird Moderator 2005

Re: Wasps

August 27 2012, 5:20 PM 

Steve
I have never had this many honey bees before and it has gotten way out of hand. I tried the lightly salted water that Nan suggested trying but that didn't help at all. I haven't cut back on the amount of sugar yet but I might have to on the next batch of nectar if the rain we are getting today doesn't help. It was so bad that it was like that feeder out in Calif. The whole base of the feeder was covered with bees and they were even on the sides of the bottle. Needless to say the hummers couldn't even get to the feeders. I was going to try to get a picture of one of the feeders but every time I moved close enough to the feeder they started flying around and they weren't too happy about it so I gave up as I wasn't in the mood to get stung. Today since it is cloudy, rainy and cooler they aren't as bad just a few here and there

Bill,
I am not having a problem with the wasps. I do have problems every year at this time of the season with yellow jackets but I have a yellow jacket trap up for those. These are regular honey bees swarming my feeders which has never happened before

Update: I did make sure all the feeders were in the shade and I removed any feeders where the nectar comes right to the top of the feeder port which includes the single port bottle feeders and the new double decker First Nature feeder. I replaced those feeders with my old orginal First Nature feeders and my saucer feeders and the WalMart feeder made by First Nature with the yellow flowers. This has taken care of at least 90% of the problem and I am hoping that today's shower will provide some relief for these little dinamos of nature.

Penny
NY
USDA hardiness zone 6a
Heat zone 4
Sunset zone 39
North_Tonawanda.gif

 
 

(Login sarahbn)
Feathered Friends Moderator 2005

Re: Wasps

August 27 2012, 6:03 PM 

That's great Penny! Hopefully the rain and cooler temps will rid you of the rest.

sarah merion station, Pennsylvania zone 6B
Merion_Station

 
 
jim
(Login valart)
Hummingbirder 2012

Re: Honey bees on feeders

August 27 2012, 6:13 PM 

I mist the bees away and keep moving/sometimes removing (and replacing after dusk) the feeders. It takes about a week. "What, you don't have anything better to do?"

 
 


(Login Pennytoo)
Hummingbird Moderator 2005

Re: Honey bees on feeders

August 27 2012, 11:33 PM 

Thanks Sarah,
I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Jim
I tried the misting but I just coulden't keep up with all of them and all the feeders. I should know tomorrow if the rain we got today has helped.

Penny
NY
USDA hardiness zone 6a
Heat zone 4
Sunset zone 39
North_Tonawanda.gif

 
 

(Login Stevenindy)
Hummingbird lover 2007

Re: Honey bees on feeders

September 1 2012, 1:38 PM 

The last couple of days I have been having honeybees in my garden but not really bothering my feeders as yet. I have not had these guys all summer.

Also on three feeders I hang at my pc window I have not been bothered with ants so I didnt hang any moats. But today you guessed it they found one so I changed the mix and added moats. Luckily I had just enough moats.

Steve
Martinsville, In
Heat zone 6
Sunset zone 35

[linked image]




 
 


(Login Pennytoo)
Hummingbird Moderator 2005

Re: Honey bees on feeders

September 1 2012, 2:59 PM 

Oddly enough I haven't really had a problem with ants this year. I usually have the big carpenter ants to do battle with so the moats go up right away but I just haphazardly fill the moats this year whenever I happen to think about it. I did see a few teeny tiny sugar ants (we had another name for them when I was growing up) make it to one feeder during the heat wave and drought but I haven't seen any now in over a week

Penny
NY
USDA hardiness zone 6a
Heat zone 4
Sunset zone 39
North_Tonawanda.gif

 
 
Indy Steve
(Login Stevenindy)
Hummingbird lover 2007

Re: Honey bees on feeders

September 3 2012, 2:12 PM 

Something else of notice when I sit outside of evening is the constant use of the honeybees on david verity. Yes they go directly to the rear of the flower and evidently puncture to get to the nectar. This surprises me as I have other flowers which they can get to easier , at least it seems that way to me.

Steve
Martinsville, In
Heat zone 6
Sunset zone 35

[linked image]




 
 

(Login Stevenindy)
Hummingbird lover 2007

Re: Honey bees on feeders

September 7 2012, 1:50 PM 

Honeybees have found my garden luckily I have tons of flowering going on and at least as many if not more honeybees than bumblebees . That seems to be enough for them as they are not bothering the feeders at all. Now this is a daily thing and Im glad to see it. For all the years Ive lived here Ive not had honeybees come in droves daily like they are now. Before this I might see one or two and thats it. So guess Im doing my part for the honey population and I love natural honey.

Steve
Martinsville, In
Heat zone 6
Sunset zone 35

[linked image]




 
 

(Login Stevenindy)
Hummingbird lover 2007

Re: Honey bees on feeders

September 12 2012, 1:55 PM 

Penny

Since aug. 26th when I mentioned I didnt have many honeybeeds since sept 3 things have picked up with honeybees lots of them and now they are mobbing one of my double stacks that I have away from the garden. Im reducing the sugar content in those to 1:6 to see if that helps. It may not this year since Im sure the earlier drought has had something to do with that. Like you Ive never had a honeybee problem before. When I walk by my main garden now it literally sounds like a swarm of bees there are so many of both types plus a few mud daubers. Thats where the bees should be and not on the feeders. I will update later if what I did helped any.

Steve
Martinsville, In
Heat zone 6
Sunset zone 35

[linked image]




 
 


(Login Pennytoo)
Hummingbird Moderator 2005

Re: Honey bees on feeders

September 12 2012, 2:02 PM 

I saw on another thread that someone else was also getting honeybees swarming their feeders. I think it was Donna but not sure. I tried the lightly salted water with a piece of sponge in the container as Nancy suggested but that didn't help at all so I removed the double stack feeders completely and went back to the old feeders and saucer feeders.

Penny
NY
USDA hardiness zone 6a
Heat zone 4
Sunset zone 39
North_Tonawanda.gif

 
 

(Login Stevenindy)
Hummingbird lover 2007

Re: Honey bees on feeders

September 12 2012, 4:48 PM 

The bees dont seem to bother the old first nature or hummzinger.

Steve
Martinsville, In
Heat zone 6
Sunset zone 35

[linked image]




 
 


(Login Pennytoo)
Hummingbird Moderator 2005

Re: Honey bees on feeders

September 12 2012, 5:03 PM 

No they don't mess with the original FN feeders or the saucer feeders that is why I switched to those.


Penny
NY
USDA hardiness zone 6a
Heat zone 4
Sunset zone 39
North_Tonawanda.gif

 
 


(Login NickNackHummer)
Hummingbird lover 2007

Re: Honey bees on feeders

September 13 2012, 11:36 AM 

I'm having a problem with wasps in my bluebird cage feeder. This just started about a week ago and is really irritating. I like this feeder just for the small birds, and having a wasp hanging around really does keep them out.

Carol R
East Tennessee
USDA Hardiness Zone 7a
Heat Zone 7
[linked image]

Find more about Weather in Knoxville, TN
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(Login Stevenindy)
Hummingbird lover 2007

Re: Honey bees on feeders

September 13 2012, 12:32 PM 

Cutting back on the sugar at 1-6 didnt work, not this season. I think I will take that feeder down for a few hours then move the location which will only work for a day or two. I dont mind doing that since I still have plenty of other feeders out plus plenty of flowers for use.

I replaced that set of double stack feeders with the pp209 feeders. The bees are still swarming around it but they cannot figure this feeder out they are not even on the port areas, of course Im assuming after a period of time the will leave it. Hummers are having a very hard time fighting off the bee invasion just to feed from the feeders. Some hummers are using the hummzinger which is not their fav.

So is all this change related to the drought? And if as it seems to me the hummers are late this season is it because they are not finding enough nectar and feeder mix to stock up enough to make the trip south and is that also why we are seeing so many bees that we dont normally see at least in my area.. Usually by this time Im seeing a lot of heavy hummers so heavy in fact they can hardly fly and Im not seeing that. I think I will scout around the area to see if there are any saucer type feeders.

Most adult males are gone from here, but My adult male out back is still there, 4 days in row now. But I am seeing good numbers of hummers here today.

Steve
Martinsville, In
Heat zone 6
Sunset zone 35

[linked image]




 
 
Indy Steve
(Login Stevenindy)
Hummingbird lover 2007

Re: Honey bees on feeders

September 13 2012, 6:20 PM 

The bees seemed to give up on the pp209 so that was a good move. Tonight I will replace the two other double stack feeders with a couple reserve first natures without slots. I hate to do it as it reduces the feeding ports but less bees on the feeders will make the difference.

My other idea about finding a saucer feeder this time of year is a loss. Not a hummer feeder to be found in my small town everything is wild bird and xmas stuff. I will need to work on that for next season just in case of a bee problem again.

update-- this evening with a lot of the bees gone there 6-8 hummers on both double stacks so it a shame to have to remove them but the hummers had to fight to get on the feeders during the day. I suppose it will average out.


Steve
Martinsville, In
Heat zone 6
Sunset zone 35

[linked image]




 
 
I love hummingbirds
(no login)

Re: Honey bees on feeders

September 14 2012, 10:32 PM 

I use a squirt gun

 
 

(Login ronsig)
Hummingbird lover 2011

Re: Honey bees on feeders

September 14 2012, 10:46 PM 

That's a good idea. I will try that!!

Sigrid
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

 
 


(Login Pennytoo)
Hummingbird Moderator 2005

Re: Honey bees on feeders

September 15 2012, 6:19 AM 

I tried the squirt gun but had to get too close for it to be effective. The jet spray on the garden hose was more efficient especially where the whole base of the feeder is covered with bees and or yellow jackets.

Penny
NY
USDA hardiness zone 6a
Heat zone 4
Sunset zone 39
North_Tonawanda.gif

 
 

(Login Stevenindy)
Hummingbird lover 2007

Re: Honey bees on feeders

September 15 2012, 12:01 PM 

Hose is best when I need to change or refill but that doesnt get rid of the bees they just fly around and come back to the same feeder. Change the feeder type or move it is about the only thing that works.

Steve
Martinsville, In
Heat zone 6
Sunset zone 35

[linked image]




 
 


(Login Pennytoo)
Hummingbird Moderator 2005

Re: Honey bees on feeders

September 16 2012, 6:01 AM 

I agree with Steve. Once I removed the double decker feeders and switched back to the original First Nature style and the saucer style feeders, the honey bees went back to the plants. I think the new style first nature feeder nectar bowl top allows too much nectar to come to the top of the slit which lets the bees and or wasps to easily access it. In the original style the nectar didn't come up to the top of the base leaving enough of an air pocket that the bees couldn't access the nectar. I still stand by my comment of 2 yrs. ago that they should have stuck with their original design....it was perfect.

Penny
NY
USDA hardiness zone 6a
Heat zone 4
Sunset zone 39
North_Tonawanda.gif

 
 
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