Do Hummingbirds Eat Bees And Wasps | Do They Eat Insects And Bugs?

Hummer enthusiasts often see the hummingbirds and insects like bees and wasps flit around flowers or hummingbird feeders.

Do hummingbirds eat bees?

Hummingbirds do not eat bees because a bee is quite a large feed for their tiny beaks. These birds may be seen chasing bees but no observation suggests that hummingbirds eat bees. The size of their beak is too small to catch a bee in it.

Bees are rarely aggressive and have not been observed picking on the hummingbirds. A bee might seem wild but it does not trouble any bird or human until it senses a threat from them. Therefore, there isn’t any reason behind hummingbirds to prey on them. 

The hummingbird feeds on smaller insects that can easily be caught in its beak. So, they do not feed on bees.

Do hummingbirds keep bees away?

Some hummingbirds do not get bothered by insects like bees but many of them try to keep the bees away. This is because bees compete with them when sitting on a flower or their feeders.

These small birds use their bills to remove the bees from the flowers. The Hummingbird may produce a sound or even initiate a fight to scare them. The birds can even protect the flower to keep the bees away. 

The hummingbirds do not want the bees around but they often fail in keeping them away. This is because bees are reluctant to leave and may not get scared of these little birds. The bees are mostly in groups which makes it even more difficult for the hummers to keep them away.

Are hummingbirds afraid of bees?

Some timid hummingbirds get afraid of bees and stay away from them whereas some do not. It completely depends on the individual bird whether it gets afraid of the bees or not. 

Bees are not very aggressive but they can sometimes outflank and attack a hummingbird. Therefore, they may scare the birds. The sting of a bee is another thing that makes hummingbirds afraid of them. 

Why are bees all over my hummingbird feeder?

Both bees and hummingbirds require nectar for their nutrition. When people set hummingbird feeders filled with this sugary substance, it not only attracts the hummingbirds but also many other sweet-loving insects including bees.

The bees compete with the hummingbirds for nectar and are thus found all over on their feeders. The insects crawl over the feeders and create problems for the birds. They not only consume the drink but also make the feeder unhygienic for the birds. 

The insects create a lot of nuisance at feeders. People who love feeding the hummingbirds install various measures to keep the bees and other insects away from the feeders. These measures help hummingbirds to consume the nectar peacefully without any interference.

Related Read: Can You Keep Hummingbirds As Pets? | Why Pet Hummingbird!

Do hummingbirds eat wasps?

Wasps are among the insects that feed on nectar and compete with hummingbirds but they are not among the insects that hummingbirds eat. Being aggressive insects, wasps are not a part of the hummingbird’s diet.

The size of the hummingbird’s beak is not appropriate for catching the wasp in it. A wasp is quite larger when compared with other insects. Therefore, a hummingbird does not go after a wasp to add it to its meal.

Wasps often pick up fights with the hummingbirds and create trouble for them. Thus, a hummingbird may kill a wasp but not eat it. 

Do hummingbirds keep wasps away?

Hummingbirds try to keep wasps away because wasps too compete with the hummers for the nectar, like bees. These insects get all over the hummingbird feeders to feed on the nectar that is kept for the little birds. Therefore, the hummingbird tries to keep the wasps away.

Both the wasps and the hummingbird feed on smaller insects. Thus, the lesser availability of the small insects may keep the wasps away. 

However, the trials to keep away the wasp often fail as wasps are too aggressive and reluctant. Sometimes the hummingbird becomes annoyed and finds another place to reside. 

Related Read: Do Hummingbirds Have Predators? What Threats and Dangers Can Kill Hummingbirds?

Do Hummingbirds eat insects and bugs? 

Hummingbirds eat insects and bugs to add the essential proteins to their diet. The protein is essential for their muscle and feather development properly. Insects also provide the other essential nutrients to these birds that include:

  • Minerals
  • Fats
  • Vitamins
  • Amino acids
  • Proteins
  • Oils
  • Fiber

Hummingbirds feed on insects and bugs regularly to maintain a balanced diet. They need a proper supply of nutrients especially while feeding their young ones. It is believed that a hummingbird consumes several dozens of bugs every day. 

What insects do hummingbirds eat?

Hummingbirds generally eat small insects due to their small size.  The tiny insects can be easily captured in their small bills and swallowed. They consume a variety of insects depending on their needs, availability of insects, and the type of insects. 

Here’s a list of insects that hummingbirds eat.

  • Mites
  • True bugs
  • Spiders
  • Aphids
  • Weevils
  • Flies
  • Mosquitoes
  • Parasite wasps
  • Harvestmen
  • Small beetles
  • Gnats
  • Leafhoppers
  • Flying ants

Which insects are harmful and deadly to hummingbirds?

Insects larger in size are usually harmful and deadly for hummingbirds. These deadly insects include spiders especially the orb-weaver spider, praying mantises, and dragonflies.

The spider webs act as a dangerous and deadly trap for the hummingbirds. While getting the spider’s silk that they use for holding up their nests, hummingbirds can become entrapped. The stuck hummingbird then either dies due to exhaustion or becomes a feast of a spider.

The praying mantis prey on hummingbirds with the help of its great camouflage technique. They camouflage so well within the surroundings and then attack hummingbirds at the right time. With its forelegs and sharp mandibles, it holds the hummingbird with a deadly grip.

The dragonfly is another deadly insect that preys on the hummingbird. They may attack the bird and fight with it until they kill it. The chances of the death of both of them are quite high but it cannot change the fact that dragonflies have the potential to kill the hummingbirds.

Related Read: Do Mantis Kill Hummingbirds? How To Keep Preying Mantis Away From Hummingbird Feeders

Conclusion

Hummingbirds and insects often form a topic of interest for birdwatchers. Many people that keep the hummingbird feeders get concerned about the bees and wasps. Hummingbirds and insects have quite an interesting relationship as these little birds not only feed on the insects but also sometimes become a part of their meal.

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