BEE-PROOFING THE HUMMINGBIRD FEEDER

As the hummingbird season draws to a close in our area, the hummingbirds seem to be more active at my feeder as they try to gain the energy they need for their migratory journey. Knowing this, I was dismayed to watch a wasp literally chasing the hummingbirds away from the feeder!

I like the style of my hummingbird feeder because it is easy to take apart and clean, but it does not have bee guards of any kind. The bees (of numerous varieties) are small enough to pass through the holes into the interior of the feeder. Some make it back out, others drown. This is also dismaying since we need the bees. I decided to try backing the underside of the lid to the feeder with plastic mesh which would last a long time and be fairly easy to clean. I found a very small plastic mesh bag that had been given to me, and when I cut it open and flattened it out, it was large enough for me to cut a doughnut-shaped piece to fit inside the lid of my feeder.  At first, I was concerned that the birds might not be able to access the feeder, but they appear to be doing fine. They apparently are able to see and navigate the smaller openings without any trouble.  The bees, on the other hand, are too large to enter though the holes in the mesh. I watched with satisfaction as a wasp landed on the feeder and tried to gain access only to finally give up and fly away. He lived to see another day, I was able to successfully re-use packaging, and my birds are still able to prepare for Fall migration.  A win for everyone!  🙂

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