Years ago when my husband and I were still in the dating phase, we went to one of this friend’s homes. They had 5 hummingbird feeders hanging around their deck. The hummingbird activity was something i had never before experience. I put on a bright, sparkle ball cap which attracted some of them to fly over and investigate me to see if I had tasty nectar.
Having a hummingbird fly close enough to your nose to feel the air turbulence from their wings is something everyone should experience at least once.
My sister also keeps several feeders stocked up for the little guys who visit her each summer. When her feeders run low, or become over run with ants, they come to her large bay window and hover until they catch her eye. They are so smart.
I think about the bird feeders we use to attract these flying jewels. They are full of sugar and completely lacking in nutrition. Yes, hummingbirds burn a tremendous amount of calories each day just by flying. Sugar is energy but it is empty of any nutritional value. Don’t they also need good nutrients and not just sugar water? Technically, they don’t need us at all. Because they eat bugs, and nectar, are we doing more harm than good by putting up feeders full of empty calories? I don’t know. I do knwo that I enjoy watching these beautiful, tiny wonders created by God. How can I make a healthier feeder mix for them to enjoy?
Well first. Let’s change the energy source from white sugar to raw honey. If you do a search on the Internet looking for honey and hummingbird feeders, you will find that people are talking about bacteria growing in their feeders when they switched to honey from sugar. Now, keep in mind, this is just a theory. I plan to test it out next spring when the hummers return.
I think that the reason for the bacterial growth has more to do with the quality of honey and water than it just being because honey was used. Honey, raw, unfiltered honey kills bacteria. A thing cannot grow and kill the same thing at the same time. I wonder if the honey being used is actually corn syrup, or tainted with a percentage of corn syrup? That would cause a decent environment for bacterial growth. Also, what sort of water is being used? I recommend distilled water and a fifty/fifty ratio of honey to water. Don’t heat the honey/water mix above 92.8 degrees. Keep the heat low when mixing them and perhaps even use a double boiler. It’s more work I know but worth it to keep these little guys healthy and able to thrive.