Bees and Hummingbird Feeders

Here are some pictures that we took to show how the bees took to different hummingbird feeders. Some you might see labeled as bee proof or bee resistance. Maybe with some bees but not many passed the test here!


The  Lewises (Harriet and Marion) sent me an email with these comments.  They gave me permission to pass the hints on.

Julie, I read your nice piece regarding honey bees (Honey Bees vs. Feeders) and thought to pass on some ‘honey bee’ tips regarding the Tejas Feeder, a bottle type humming bird feeder.
Bottle type feeders operate with a ‘vacuum’ principle – – as hummers feed, they break the vacuum inside the glass bottle, allowing sugar-water solution to drop into the feeder base.  .  The ‘liquid level’ of a good hummingbird feeder is typically out of reach for honey bees  That being said, if the feeder is located in a windy area, a ‘swinging’ feeder will cause vacuum break, and the feeder base will overfill, allowing honey bees to reach the sugar-water, which may also spill onto the ground/patio, hence ant problems
Secondly, honey bees are “siphoning artists”.  I’ll explain …  they can literally siphon sugar-water where the glass bottle joins the feeder base.  Am not sure how they can do this, but it happens.  Remedy …  wrap a little Teflon tape around threading of glass bottle before attaching to feeder base – – this will shut down the siphoning routine.  Also, always, gently/finger tighten glass bottle to Tejas aluminum feeder base to prevent ‘stripping” threading of feeder base.
Thanks very much for your order and for your interest in Tejas Hummingbird Feeders.  Your Tejas Feeder has shipped.  USPS tracking info follows: 9505 5000 1985 5327 0001 74;
Best regards from  the Lewises.  …MLL
PS: Also, re my comment about “heat transfer property”, plastic vs. metal… I think this is a big deal, and competitor, Perky Pet may agree.
 Doug is going to give a talk sharing what he has learned on feeders mid December. I will be filming the talk and will share it with you.

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Back Again

Hi, it has been a long time since I added a new post but I am back.

Last year I wrote about having trouble with bees. During the summer we had a little trouble with bees but nothing to worry about. That changed during October. The bees started following us around the property and at times bumping us. The bumping is a sign that if we don’t leave, it plans to sting us. Needless to say this had to change and change quickly.

We are still feeding the hummingbirds nectar. During the summer we hang about 25 feeders but in winter we increase the number of feeders to about 50.

As you know, bees like things like pop or picnics. They also like the nectar that hummingbirds eat!

We live in Arizona in the desert. There are farms close to us that often put out bee hives along their fields. The time between the different crops and the time before the new crops flower – where do the bees find food? We think they join the hummingbirds at our feeders!

One other factor is affecting our work with the hummingbirds. Arizona is in the area that now has Africanized bees.

This info came from

The major differences between Africanized and other Western bee types are:

  • Tends to swarm more frequently and go farther than other types of honey bees.
  • Is more likely to migrate as part of a seasonal response to lowered food supply.
  • Is more likely to “abscond”—the entire colony leaves the hive and relocates—in response to stress.
  • Has greater defensiveness when in a resting swarm, compared to other honey bee types.
  • Lives more often in ground cavities than the European types.
  • Guards the hive aggressively, with a larger alarm zone around the hive.
  • Has a higher proportion of “guard” bees within the hive.
  • Deploys in greater numbers for defense and pursues perceived threats over much longer distances from the hive.
  • Cannot survive extended periods of forage deprivation, preventing introduction into areas with harsh winters or extremely dry late summers.

Over the years, we bought many different feeders. Some seemed to draw more bees than others. The last few weeks we set up a trial station on the edge of our property to see which feeders we want to keep and which ones we need to get rid of. The results have been interesting. Some feeders let bees into the compartment that holds the nectar. Other feeders tip leaking out some of the nectar – a good draw for the bees. Some just plain leak – also a good draw. A few had the bees come to them, check them out and then leave as they weren’t getting what they wanted.

In a few days I will be putting up pictures and videos showing the results.

Many of the feeders have been advertised as bee free feeders in the northern states where there are no Africanized bees. The Africanized bees are more  aggressive and do get into many feeders that the European bees can’t.