Q: "We'd like to attract and feed hummingbirds. We've been warned about problems with attracting wasps, ants and yellow jackets to the bird feeders because of the nectar food. Also we don't know where to install the feeders. And what is the easiest way to make the nectar? We live in Missouri." Thanks. Chuck.
Answer: The newer hummingbird feeders are less likely to attract insects. For example, the Jewel Box window hummingbird feeder
has an optional ant moat. Also there are optional nectar guard tips
you can add to reduce problems with bees or wasps.
Selecting a feeder location is based upon a location with bushes or trees nearby. What attracts hummingbirds are food, water, shelter and places to raise their young. You can mount your hummingbird feeder on a window, on a deck or from a tree. The closer to your home the feeder is located, the more you'll enjoy watching the birds.
Nectar needs to be changed every three days to prevent mold and bacteria growth from the nectar solution. Certainly, you can make your own sugar solution. A simpler option is to purchase nectar mix. If you are serious about hummingbirds, we suggest you buy at least six packages at a time. We also sell by the case. The mixes we sell are dry and include clear, red
and strawberry flavored
. Each 8 ounces of mix when combined with 6 cups of water makes 48 ounces of nectar. Most feeders hold 5 to 8 ounces of nectar food. The nectar contains sucrose and dextrose. Once mixed, it is best to store the nectar in the refrigerator.
Most hummingbirds migrant and are found in North America in the warmer seasons. Get the feeders up in time for their arrival in your area. In Florida, this is as early as January. In Missouri, expect them in May. Call your local extension service for more information.
The more popular feeders we sell include handblown glass ones like the Bird Brain Lantern Feeder
and the Aspects Humzinger Ultra Hanging Hummingbird Feeder
which is made from UV stabilized impact resistant polycarbonate plastic. One of the most novel feeders is the Avant Garden Fairy Dust Hummingbird Feeder
with an ornate fairy and three glass feeder containers. Do remember that the more ornate glass feeders are more fragile than the polycarbonate.
Thanks for your question. Enjoy the birds.