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Nancy C

Of Oriole feeders and hordes of bees... Help!

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Does anyone know how to keep the pesky critters out of my nectar feeder? It wasn't up but 1/2 hr this am after being down for a couple of days and its already filling with floating bees. I'm using a basic type feeder, with big holes and no guards. I haven't seen anything else out there, but I'm new to feeding them so maybe someone else knows something...

Thanks! 

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I had the same problem a couple of years ago...It got SO BAD that the bees (actually they were hornets) would attack me when I went out to change the nectar!  I was running around the yard like a crazy woman!

Then I found the best Oriole Feeder in the World!  It's called Flightline (I use the Flightline Junior model).  Not only is it bee-proof, it's easy to clean and made of really high quality materials.  I had to order it online because no stores (around here) carry it.

In the meantime, you might want to hang some wasp traps around...fill them with Mountain Dew.  Here's a little pic of the feeder....  Good luck!

post-6427-1926793744_thumb.gif

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Hi Sandylee... thanks for the info. After watching a big male try to fight off the bees and lose I took the feeder completely down yesterday. Then I visited the shopping site here & put in an order... we are on the same page.

Its funny... NO ONE seems to carry the bee/wasp proof feeders in their shops; I haven't even seen them at the annual bird-fest here in the Valley. I wonder why... they don't cost any more! Huh?

Anyway, I'll save the confusions of retail for another day; thank Goddess for the internet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great, Nancy!  I also put an ant moat over the top of the feeder to keep those pesky little critters out.  The hummers don't have any problem feeding out of this one either....

One last note, if you are getting this exact feeder, be sure all the bee guards are freely "flipping" up and down and that you have the holes lined up in the base...if they "jam" you will have a mess.  An extra step, but WELL WORTH it!

Let us know how it works for you!   (Where are you located?)

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I have heard (haven't tried it myself) that if you smear almond or peppermint extract over the ports of feeders that the bees don't like it and will keep away.  Might be worth a try until you get your  new feeder...

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Thanks for the reminder, Sandylee. I use ant guards routinely on all my nectar feeders; we have some voracious sweet-loving ants here & they are hard to block. "Here" is in the Verde Valley, northern AZ. A great birding site, if you have never been.

I didn't order the same feeder as you (its the flat kind, with places for orange slices to be set in) but I will definitely check to make sure the bee guards are doing their job. Can't be too careful, espepcially now in the windy season.

 

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Hi Virginia... thanks for the tip; I tossed the feeder (and its horde of stinking, floating bees) last trash day. Wasn't worth my time to clean it up... would you believe those little buzzing buggers are still flying around the place where I had hung the feeder? They must have long memories...

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I had a similar problem with a hummingbird feeder.  We have one that works great and gets pretty good activity but it's a long way away from the deck and hummingbirds are so tiny that we could barely enjoy them.  So I picked up a simple, small feeder with one little dropper-type end to it and hung it right over the deck.  I wasn't worried about the hummingbirds being nervous around people on the deck because they have a habit of flying up and hovering right in front of you like they're saying 'hello'.  Within a few hours of hanging it up I noticed a little honey bee buzzing around it.  How sweet...  Ha!   An hour later 2 honey bees - an hour after that, a hundred!  I had to use a long pole to hook the feeder and toss it away into the yard and it took hours for the bees to finally get a clue it was gone and leave (and they kept checking that spot off and on for days).  Never again!

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Oops.... frustrating, isn't it. I use a standard feeder with ant and bee guards over the terrace; great viewing and the bugs can't get in!

Your photos are great; you are some photographer, Trish.

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This is definitely harder compared to hummingbird since oriole don't have long tongues. I always use nectar guard for my hummingbird and it works every time. There're a few other methods that you could try. Bees are sensitive to bright color since it's the color of flowers, but they don't like the color of red since they consider it as a threat. So you can repaint your feeder with non-toxic paint to distract bees.

Another way is making DIY repellent. Banana peels, mothball, and peppermint oil is very effective at driving bees away. Good luck.

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Welcome to WhatBird! This is a very old discussion, so I wouldn't expect to hear back from the original poster. And on a side note: I have not seen any evidence that bees have a problem with the color red; my red hummer feeders have been covered with hundreds of bees at times. I have had success with covering the feeder ports with a thin layer of vegetable oil. Feeders with longer ports also help, but it does mean other birds have trouble using the feeders.

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