Asked on Jul 18, 2016

The jelly in my oriole feeders is covered by bumble bees and wasps!!!!

Pamela Knott
by Pamela Knott
Does anyone else have this problem? The birds still come to the feeders but it has slowed their returning to eat.
q the jelly in my oriole feeders is covered by bumble bees and wasps , home maintenance repairs, pest control
  18 answers
  • Sonja Hansen Sonja Hansen on Jul 18, 2016
    I want to know how to keep the orioles out of my hummingbird feeders. And, won't they eat the insects?

    • Pamela Knott Pamela Knott on Jul 19, 2016
      Sonja, my friend was complaining about the orioles getting into the hummingbird feeders. So I bought them an oriole feeder and the problem was solved. You need to feed them both. I've even seen the hummingbirds dip their bills into the oriole jelly!

  • Sassy Sassy on Jul 18, 2016
    Have you tried using a wasp trap/catcher close to your bird feeder? It may pull them away from your bird feeder, permanently.

    • See 2 previous
    • Joyce Bodette Joyce Bodette on Sep 14, 2018

      Tried that. It caught many bees and flys. But still had hundreds of bees in the jelly bowls. Didn't detour them from the jelly.

  • Cherri Cherri on Jul 18, 2016
    I have this problem with my hummingbird feeder I rubbed fresh mint all over the holes of feeder and no more bees wasps. Maybe this will work for a bird feeder. Now my problem is woodpeckers hanging on the feeders and drinking the nectar.

    • See 3 previous
    • Mary Bosch Harris Mary Bosch Harris on Aug 19, 2021

      I tried the mint trick but it didn't work. Made them angry at first then they just ignored it.

  • Re Re on Jul 19, 2016
    I've sprayed the feeder down with Avon'skin so sofft with a mixture of water. Let it dry before you add jelly back. Insects absolutely hate skin so soft. I do this on my hummingbird feeders and it has worked everytime. I respray after a rain. The birds don't have a problem with it. Good luck and happy birding.

  • Rodrigo Sebidos Rodrigo Sebidos on Jul 19, 2016
    Bumble bees and Wasps are attracted to sugary stuff like nectar in flowers, try changing it to water and see the results. You might be courting danger, these insects are stinger and become aggressive to the smell of human sweat or perfume. Birds do not return regularly to your feeder because they are also afraid of these insects.​

    • Pamela Knott Pamela Knott on Jul 19, 2016
      Thank you Rodrigo. Just putting water in the jelly cups will, of course, correct the bee problem, but then I won't be attracting or feeding the orioles, so I could also solve the problem by removing the feeders. I watched the birds scare the bees off yesterday. But I am afraid they will get stung, or me!

  • Laurie Kilts Laurie Kilts on Jul 19, 2016
    I live next to the St. Francis of Assisi of our neighborhood & she used a fresh dryer sheet to get rid of her wasps. Apparently, they don't like the scent. It's worked great, & is cheap, easy and environmentally friendly! Worth a shot - Good luck!

    • See 4 previous
    • Mary Bosch Harris Mary Bosch Harris on Aug 19, 2021

      Tried that...they didn't care. :(

  • Eunice Aucoin Eunice Aucoin on Jul 19, 2016
    The bees are after the sugar in the water ,,the fruit ,, lol I put a bottle of dollar store JAM on the grown and move it a foot away ever 2 hr till it is we're I need the bees to be and replace it once a week

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    • Oliva Oliva on Aug 24, 2020

      You can purchase hummingbird feeders with bee and ant guards to avoid these problems.

  • Cherri Cherri on Jul 19, 2016
    We were so surprised when we saw it we took pictures. I will try a suet feeder thanks.

  • Laurie Kilts Laurie Kilts on Jul 20, 2016
    She said she accordion folds the dryer sheet and ties it in the middle w/ a little twine, so it looks like a bow & staples it to the feeder right next to the food I thought she may have wrapped it too, but she said she wasn't sure if the birds wouldn't be too receptive/sensitive to the fragrance & not eat so just next to it has worked! She only did the bow for aesthetics so not sure if that actually makes a difference or not - but it works so well ya hate to not try it! She's also used them around the outside of her home when wasps were building nests & they up & left! Who knew?! Good luck 😄

  • Myra Rodriguez Myra Rodriguez on Jul 21, 2016
    I live close to the Bay. The back of our house is near a canal, and I have numerous bird feeders since our back lot has lots of trees. The problem is I noticed one evening, field mice and rats were feeding on the ground what the seeds birds and squirrels had spilled from the feeders! Yikes, how do I keep rodents away from my yard at night?

  • Pamela Knott Pamela Knott on Jul 21, 2016
    There are a couple of friends sitting here with me. They say to put peppermint oil out. One put peppermint oil on the floor of my pantry to keep the mice out. I have to admit, I've had no mice since. I don't know how to tell you to put it out under the a bowl, drops on the ground, wet a rag? Of course you would have to resprinkle after rain.

  • Teena Wood Teena Wood on Jul 18, 2021

    You can also try tetree oil. Rub around the holes of the oriole hole. Bee's don't like the smell

  • Barb Barb on Jul 26, 2021

    Someone posted put clove spice next to jelly in feeder I did that it TOTALLY WORKs

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    • Amy F Amy F on Aug 15, 2021

      We just did the ground cloves thing too and it TOTALLY WORKS!!! We have oriole feeders with jelly and the bees love it, but the birds seem a little timid to get in and have dinner. We just sprinkled the cloves on either side of the jelly holder and the bees are totally not into it. I think that we will take someone else’s advice to put out jelly for the bees away from the birds - a local beekeeper told us that he thinks that they are honey bees who have slim pickings for blooming flowers right now (in Eastern MI on the shore of the thumb in August). Thank you Barb!

  • Phran Phran on Aug 13, 2021

    I crushed some whole cloves in vegetable oil and let them sit overnight. I strained them and took a cotton ball and swabbed the feeder all over, top bottom and even around the rims of the jelly cups. No bees since!

  • Maura White Maura White on Aug 19, 2021

    Do orioles like jelly? (I love birds but don't know their favorite diets.) If they love the sweet, maybe try using a hummingbird type feeder like this:

    And maybe that will decrease the amount of bees/wasps surrounding it.

  • Judy Judy on Jul 24, 2022

    I put out bee catchers today and the orioles slowed down. I think they need that sound.

  • Dorothy Dorothy on Aug 08, 2022

    I put cloves next to the jelly in my feeder and it seems like the bees love it. Walked right over them. Didn’t work

  • Ginni Ginni on Aug 17, 2022

    After returning home from a week’s vacation we found our feeder swarmed by bees. The orioles couldn’t get to the feeder to eat. I purchased some peppermint essential oil and brushed it all around the edges and inside of the cup that holds the jelly then filled the cup with jelly. A few bees landed on the feeder but immediately flew away. Now the bees are gone and the orioles are back and enjoying their grape jelly! Problem solved.