Honey bees taking over the sunbirds' feeders.

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5 years 7 months ago #70698 by Godfrey
Godfrey created the topic: Honey bees taking over the sunbirds' feeders.
I have put up two plastic feeders for sunbirds in my garden. There are three types of sunbird using the feeders - the black sunbird, white breasted sunbird and double collared sunbird. What a treat to watch anything up to twelve birds at a time trying to feed off the "flowers". Honey bees have unfortunately also discovered the feeders and are now starting to take over the feeders with sheer force of numbers. Does anyone have any ideas about how I can dissuade the bees without causing them any harm as at times my dogs and family are also at risk if getting a sting.

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5 years 7 months ago #70699 by John Young
John Young replied the topic: Re: Honey bees taking over the sunbirds' feeders.
Greetings,

I have been aware of such experiences raised by others on different forums. As far as I have been able to work out, if the strength of the sugar solution is too sweet it becomes like a honey pot for the bees. I have made use, and still do, of a bottle feeder for at least two years. My sugar mix is approximately 100g white sugar mixed with 750ml of water. I have also read in magazines, and ABB springs to mind, wherein it says the sugar solution should be approximately 20%. My solution last about 2-5 days.

For the last few years, I have had a bee hive in my chimney stack so they are ever present and always seen around flowers on various plants in the garden. But in all the time I've had both bees and a sunbird feeder I have only ever had ONE bee trapped in the bottle, as well as a few ants.

As far as visitors to the feeder, I've had Amethyst, Greater Double Collared, Grey, White-Bellied and Olive sunbirds, along with Fork-tailed Drongo, Village Weaver, and Cape White-eyes.

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Cheers,
Dave
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5 years 7 months ago #70737 by Godfrey
Godfrey replied the topic: Re: Honey bees taking over the sunbirds' feeders.
Thanks Dave - it looks like my sugar solution is way too strong. I'll cut back to your strengths. I'm really looking forward to getting the variety of visitors that you have experienced.

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5 years 6 months ago #71673 by Larks
Larks replied the topic: Re: Honey bees taking over the sunbirds' feeders.
I also thought about putting up some feeders but I haven't done it yet. I had no idea that even the bees can take over the feeders. This is very interesting. I am thinking about redoing my garden anyway and are there any plants or flowers which I can use to distract the bees from the feeders? I am planning to [url=http&#58;//www&#46;serenataflowers&#46;com/flowers-by-post:3k4kjqg9]buy exotic flowers by post from serenata[/url:3k4kjqg9] and I would like to plant some flowers for the bees. Any suggestions which flowers they like most? Recommendations are appreciated.

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5 years 6 months ago #71675 by Godfrey
Godfrey replied the topic: Re: Honey bees taking over the sunbirds' feeders.
I have reduced the strength of sugar solution in the feeders and it within a day or two, the majority of the bees have moved on. Every now and again there are the odd few bees buzzing around but hardly noticeable. I am using about a cup and a half of white sugar in a 2 liter plastic bottle of water. I am really enjoying the feeder as it is almost a gathering point for the birds (kind of like the water cooler at the office!!)

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5 years 6 months ago #71736 by John Young
John Young replied the topic: Re: Honey bees taking over the sunbirds' feeders.
Glad to hear that the bulk of your bees have moved on.

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