Hummingbirds and Bumblebees

My wife loves hummingbirds, but is deathly afraid of bumblebees. I’d like to get her a hummingbird feeder for the backyard, but I don’t want to attract bees as a result. Does anyone know if that is inevitable? Thanks!


Some (most? all?) hummingbird feeders have screens over the feeders that prevent bees and yellowjackets from getting to the food. The hummingbirds have long bills, and can reach the liquid.

I have a hummingbird feeder; they are made so whatever tries to go after the sugar water has to be either very small to fit through the screen/down the channel (a couple mm), or have a long sucker to get to it (a couple cm). The only insect problem I ever had was ants; but this was only because I hung it from a tree that the ants routinely crawled up. Little bastards would drain the feeder in a few days. Never had a problem with bees.


I’ve tried many hummingbird feeders. I live in a situation where bees/wasps/etc will be attracted within a few hours if anything they like is left out.

Insects have scant intelligence, but they recognize a losing battle to get food. If they can’t taste the sugar, eventually they’ll leave, and won’t come back.

The only kind of feeder to avoid is one which drips: then the bees figure they’ll get more.