Keep bees from bird feeders: Make a solution of orange oil at 2 ounces per gallon of water. Mist the feeders as needed. Spinosad also works but is much more deadly to the bees. It is an organic product and when painted on the feeders works well. If you choose it, mix like you would spraying the product and paint it on the feeder away from the feeding holes. The bees should stay away.
QUESTION: Honeybees are all over a hummingbird feeder, which discourages hummingbirds from coming to drink. I don't want to harm the bees, but how can I get rid of them? T.W., Mesquite
ANSWER: Spray orange oil on the outside surface of the hummingbird feeders (when neither hummingbirds nor honeybees are present) at a rate of 2 ounces per gallon of water, or apply a spinosad product to the feeders (follow label directions). Spinosad will kill bees if it hits them, but that should not occur if the product is applied only to the feeders. To be on the safe side, I prefer to use orange oil.
QUESTION: You frequently advise people to feed birds. Could you include bees and tell people how to feed them? Bees have taken over my hummingbird feeders, and the hummingbirds have left. J.S., Weatherford
ANSWER: Plant lots of flowering plants. Sweet almond verbena, anise hyssop and Texas kidneywood are the best bee attractants in my gardens. Bees can be repelled from hummingbird feeders by spraying the feeders with a product containing spinosad. Bees must ingest the pesticide for it to harm them.
Tick Control: Dust with diatomaceous earth during dry weather for severe infestations. Keep out mice. Stock firewood away from the house. Locate bird feeders away from the house. Spray with plant oil products. Apply beneficial nematodes.
Radio show: Petroleum jelly on the strings that holds the hanger of the feeder to stop to ants.