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Name: Lisa Olson
Washington DC (Zone 7a)
Jul 28, 2016 5:16 PM CST
Getting lots of wasps/Yellowjackets/hornets this year at my hummingbird feeders. Only an occasional hummingbird.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Jul 28, 2016 5:40 PM CST
Hi Lisa,

I've read that wasps and bees are attracted to the color yellow so if you have a feeder with yellow feeder ports or any yellow color on the feeder you might want to change to a plain red colored feeder. They do make feeders with bee/wasp guards but I heard that those types tend to drip a lot which will attract ants and bees or wasps.

I have the Hummzinger Feeder which supposedly doesn't attract wasps but last year for some reason there were wasps on occasion at one of the feeders. I moved that feeder to another location in the yard and didn't see wasps again.

Hopefully others who feed the hummers will pop in with some advice!
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Playing in the dirt is my therapy and I'm in therapy a lot!
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
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Jul 28, 2016 5:56 PM CST
Maybe hang a wasp trap near the feeder? Might try hanging the feeder in a different location, too - my hummers mostly come early in the morning which is also when the sun shines on the feeder. The syrup warming up releases its scent, I think.

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
Jul 29, 2016 12:24 PM CST
If the nectar goes sour, more bees/wasps show up. Changing it daily is necessary in these high temps.

Most wasps do very beneficial things, like demolishing various pests in various ways. Unless they're trying to build a nest in a dangerous place, I try to leave them alone.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘“๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€โ˜•๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒด๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 8b)
Jul 29, 2016 9:25 PM CST
Our wasps were crazy mean and over populated. Wasps LOVE over ripened fruit, especially those peachy yellow to dark plum colored ones. I do use bee guards, but also like the smaller ones that suction doesnt allow the syrup to stay at a level the bees and wasps can reach. Our bees are more attracted to my African Blue basil than the hummer feeder.
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Name: Kathy
Arkansas (Zone 8b)
Plant and/or Seed Trader Dog Lover Region: Arkansas Region: Louisiana Garden Ideas: Level 1
Jul 31, 2016 12:54 PM CST
Wasps are terrible here every year (although this year they haven't been as bad). Here is some information I read:

In spring & early summer wasps are attracted to protein-based baits. In late summer to early fall, they're attracted to sweet-based baits.

Place baits away from hummingbird feeders & put out earlier than you do the feeders. Change often.

Protein: canned cat or dog food, tuna fish, etc.

Sweet: jelly/jam, syrup, juice

To make a trap - Cut the top off a 2 liter coke bottle. Fill the bottle with several inches of water & add dish washing liquid to the water. Swirl it around to mix. Turn the top upside down & put inside the bottle. Coat neck with jam.

Or - Take an empty jar & punch a hole in the lid that's about as wide as your pinky. Fill half way with orange juice or orange soda. Smear jam under the lid.

**Have not tried this as I run every time I see a wasp so haven't been stung!!! But........ If you are stung & have no antihistamine available, you can supposedly put a teaspoon full of instant coffee under your tongue.
Name: Lisa Olson
Washington DC (Zone 7a)
Jul 31, 2016 6:01 PM CST
Thanks for input, friends. Changed the nectar this afternoon, just before cocktail hour. Later while sitting on the porch, I did have visitors: several hummers, few cards, a woodpecker, some bouncy blackish bird but only a few wasps.
Realize I'm probably filling my hummingbird feeders too full and nectar ferments.
Instant coffee? Who knew?
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Jul 31, 2016 8:47 PM CST
The biggest problem is that the Hummers are staying away because they know a wasp sting will kill them. Until you can figure out how to get rid of the wasps, the Hummers will keep their distance.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
Aug 1, 2016 12:30 PM CST
I've never seen any other unintended critter (besides ants) get on my feeders, which are cleaned every day & fresh nectar put in while I'm making coffee. It's around 95 here every day. They're never empty but I change it anyway. If the nectar sours, it can start to have alcohol in it, which is not safe for hummers.

This article has some great info. Pasting some below but there's so much more:

Changing Hummingbird Nectar
- Nectar feeders in full sun may spoil more rapidly than those which are shade protected.
- Exposed to heat and the sun sugars can ferment and turn to alcohol, it can evaporate and alter the sugar/ water concentration ratio, or bacterial growth can begin.
- Change nectar often to prevent such fermentation and mold or bacteria build-up. Twice a week is highly recommended in general. Particular circumstances, such as extremely hot or cold daily temperatures, may determine a longer or shorter โ€œfreshness timeโ€ for nectar. Fermented nectar (left out too long) is giving your hummingbirds a license to fly drunk. Avoid this happening by keeping a regular schedule for cleaning and refilling.
- Adult hummers know not drink spoiled nectar and their little internal GPS system will alert them to avoid that contaminated feeder. Changing your nectar solution as recommended will prevent juveniles, who are not as seasoned or experienced as adults, from drinking harmful nectar.

Cleaning Hummingbird Feeders
- Avoid using soaps, bleach, or chorines when cleaning your feeders between refills. Using hot water and a brush/sponge will leave no residues. Rinse well!
- A 50/50 dilute solution of vinegar is a good cleaning method for removing mold. But rinse well.
- Feeders need to be cleaned, and nectar changed every 3-4 days--more often in hotter weather.
- If you see black spots inside your feeder this is mold and you will need to scrub it out with a good bottle brush, but if you can't reach it with a bottle brush you can add some sand with water and shake the feeder to remove the mold.
- Don't fill the feeder more than half full if they can't drink it all before it needs to be changed.
- If you notice that the nectar is turning milky or that white strings or black spots are growing in it, change it more often. Clean the feeder with very hot water each time you refill it.
- Most good feeders, and all of of the ones that we sell, come apart for easier cleaning. Be sure and take them apart every time. It is usually the work of a couple of seconds.
- If contamination occurs, use a mild vinegar solution to sterilize it, but if you opt to use bleach, rinse thoroughly afterwards. Even a tiny amount of bleach could be harmful to birds weighing only a few grams!
- Glass or metal pieces can be boiled, but you should probably not boil plastic pieces.
- All of the high quality pan/ saucer type of feeders constructed of UV stable polycarbonate can safely be cleaned on the top rack of your dishwasher. The durability of this type of material guarantees many years of use without any warping, bowing or distortion of the feeder.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘“๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€โ˜•๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒด๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Lisa Olson
Washington DC (Zone 7a)
Aug 3, 2016 6:21 PM CST
Stopped at a fancy outlet store. Saw a handsome hummer feeder, nice glass, greatly reduced price. Color? Day-glow yellow. Smacking my forehead.

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