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Author Topic: Can you put peppermint in a humming bird feeder to deter bees?  (Read 1165 times)

Offline Charles Wright

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Can I put peppermint in my neighbor humming bird feeder to deter bees? Wondering if that will affect the birds.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2023, 10:23:15 am by Charles Wright »

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Can you put peppermint in a humming bird feeder to deter bees?
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2023, 10:49:11 am »
I don't know about the effects of peppermint in hummingbird feeders Charlie, for bird or bee.

Before you edited,  I was trying to find an answer to your first question concerning your neighbors fountains. What I found was an interesting post by Bob Binnie concerning Honey Bees and swimming pools. He suggest an ozone gas generated pool treatment 'which might not be feasible for fountains'? I don't know.

I did notice in the posted literature during the video, was the added suggestion of chlorine free oxidizing shock treatment. As we know bees are attracted to chlorine, salt, and others minerals found in water and prefer this type water over tap water in many cases.  A bit of this may help if this would break down the minerals that bees seek in water fountains etc and might be worth looking into further? I would highly suggest making sure it will not hurt bees if they persist in visiting your neighbors fountains after such a shock was used (that goes for birds too).   

Providing a water source closer to your bees might also help if there is none already available.

I hope this may help..

Phillip
 
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14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Can you put peppermint in a humming bird feeder to deter bees?
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2023, 11:42:38 am »
There is some debate about peppermint actually deterring bees.  Here is an article I read recently. https://www.honeybeesuite.com/peppermint-confidential-the-preposterous-idea-that-mint-repels-bees/

If you want to try it, I would not put the peppermint oil IN the nectar, as I'm not sure it would be safe for the hummers to ingest.  Just take some oil and rub it on the feeder instead. 

Something that often attracts bees to hummingbird feeders is if the feeder is filled with syrup that is too heavy.  Hummingbird nectar should be 1:4 ratio of sugar to water.  Hummers' bodies are used to metabolizing nectar, which is a very weak solution, but some people put more sugar in the solution in an effort to give the hummers more energy.  If the syrup is a higher concentration though, it will attract bees.  I have a hummingbird feeder out all summer, and I have for years, and I've never had the bees come and drink from it when it's filled with 1:4 syrup. 

Something I have done however to get wasps away from the hummingbird feeder, which may work for bees too (as long as the syrup is weak) is to move the feeder to a different location, at least temporarily.  Now that the bees know where the feeder is, they may keep coming back to it even if you change the syrup strength, but if you also change the location, they may view it as an entirely new food source (one that has never produced good forage) and leave it alone.     
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Can you put peppermint in a humming bird feeder to deter bees?
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2023, 12:31:33 pm »
Good advice Member. Thumbs Up!
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Charles Wright

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Re: Can you put peppermint in a humming bird feeder to deter bees?
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2023, 03:33:15 pm »
I got embarrassed because as soon as I posted it I noticed the last thread was the same subject. 

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Can you put peppermint in a humming bird feeder to deter bees?
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2023, 04:35:46 pm »
Nothing to be embraced about Charles. Your questions were good questions. Ask all the questions you want.
:grin:

Phillip
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Can you put peppermint in a humming bird feeder to deter bees?
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2023, 06:55:41 pm »
I got embarrassed because as soon as I posted it I noticed the last thread was the same subject.
Nothing to be embraced about Charles. Your questions were good questions. Ask all the questions you want.
:grin:

Phillip
I agree, it's not a problem in the least.  Also trace's question was about water, not sugar syrup, so honestly I think it's better to be on a separate thread. 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Can you put peppermint in a humming bird feeder to deter bees?
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2023, 06:58:08 am »
Any smell with few exceptions will attract not deter bees.  Peppermint is one of the ingredients in a common feed attractant for bees.  There are some humming bird feeders that will keep bees out by design.
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