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.

DSC_0023 DSC_0030 DSC_0039 DSC_0046 DSC_0051 DSC_0052 DSC_0088 DSC_0091 DSC_0142 DSC_0144 DSC_0190 DSC_0222 DSC_0258

Bee Update

This week we have seen a reduction in the bee population here at Desert Rat Studio. That doesn’t mean that we no longer have a bee problem.

Doug did a lot of searching on the internet to find the best way to handle the bees that stayed. Some of these bees were only interested in getting nectar from the flowers – yes some of our plants still have flowers – or from the hummingbird feeders. But others were a little more aggressive than we wanted.

  • One of the first things that we did was order some beekeepers hats from Amazon. Doug chose a veil that would connect to a hat that he likes to wear most of the time. I chose a hat  that I could wear most of the time with the veil fixed so that I could have it up or down. That way I would have it with me when I work out in the yard, and if the bees get too close, I could drop the veil down over my face without having to go in to get it.
  • Next, Doug hunted for ideas of what to do and not to do when the bees are acting aggressive. Some of what he found:
    • Don’t swat at the bees. This makes them more aggressive. Keep your hands and arms STILL. Walk away.
    • Don’t kill the bee. They let out a signal or smell that says “Help Me” and lots of bees will attack.
    • Don’t jump into water. The bees just wait for you to come up and then it is sting time.
    • Wear white or light colors if you know you are going to be close to bees.
    • If you have to run, run in a zig-zag pattern. At least some of the bees fly faster in a straight line.
    • If a bee bumps into you – that is his way of saying “I don’t want to sting you but you’re in my way – move it!” If you don’t take the hint he will most likely sting you. (Doug has been bumped several times this week – he took the hint!.)
    • Then we looked at the hummingbird feeders. Some had lots of bees around them and others had only one or two. What made the difference? Some of our feeders had large ports for the hummingbirds to reach into to get the nectar. Others had “bee guards” that made the portal deeper for the hummingbirds but too deep for the bees to reach the nectar. Others leaked nectar from just above the level of the nectar when the wind blew. (If you know Casa Grande, you know the wind that goes through that city. We are a little west of Casa Grande and we have WIND.) The feeders that leaked drew the most bees. We moved those away from the house, and bought some more feeders that seemed to draw the least bees.

Once I get set up to do podcasting, I think Doug will give a review on this subject.

I’ll keep you up to date on this situation.

Julie Loney


This week we had hundreds of bees in our front yard.The bees like flowers in our garden.But this was too much.

Doug has attracted about 30 hummingbirds to our 4 acres. He has hummingbird feeders scattered throughout the property. Most of the time a hummingbird will guard what he considers his feeder.

Hummingbird at Feeder


But when I went outside on Thursday, the feeder outside of our door had at least 100 bees around it. The next few days we had bees all over the place. We have gotten used to some bees flying around the flowers in the garden.

Bee on hummingbird feeder

Bee on hummingbird feeder

But these bees were different story. When we went outside, the bees flew around us. There were bees everywhere.

I ended up hunting for something to make a beekeepers outfit. It was the funniest looking outfit I’ve ever had. My temporary protection worked after a fashion. The bees still circled me, but I didn’t get stung. It was scary.

Doug used the temporary outfits so he could try tracking the bees to their hive. When he came back in, he searched on the internet to see if he could find a solution to our problem. We planned to make traps for the bees, as well as figuring out a way to hunt for their hive.

This morning when we went out, they were all gone! What made the difference, we probably will never know. What a relief to be able to go out into our garden without fear of being dive bombed by bees. There are still a few bees checking out the flowers, but they’re not checking us out.