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First Bee of the Season

I checked the webcam to see if I had to fill the feeders and I spotted a BEE drinking from one of the feeders. The days are getting hot here in Southern California and the bees no doubt need lots of water. I immediately filled a shallow dish with stones and water and hung it…

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Another Bee Dish Video? You Bet!

I cannot believe it. Can the answer to the hummingbird feeder/bee problem be so simple? I have an outdoor kitchen, and I noticed that after I washed things in the sink, the bees hung around and drank water out of the wet sponge. This is what gave me the idea to put water out for…

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Bee Dishes to Help Control Bees at the Feeders

Bee dishes really work! I added a bee dish I made out of an old feeder by adding water + stones for the bees to stand on. It didn’t take long for the bees to find the dish. Yes, there are still a few bees on the feeders, but most of them are now going…

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Praying Mantis Season is Over (At Least on the Deck)

Update: The two praying mantises (manti?) have mated and gone, presumably to make their little egg sacs. The hummingbirds are safe. It is thought by many that the non-native Chinese Mantis is the only one big enough to catch a hummingbird. This is not so. The two I had on the deck were native Bordered…

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Another Praying Mantis has arrived on the deck.

ANOTHER Praying Mantis on the Cam?!

Hmmm. The other one mated and disappeared (off to make her egg sac, no doubt) and now another hungry female native Bordered Mantis showed up. I checked the webcam to see if the feeders needed filling, and there she was right in the midst of them looking around. There are still some bees buzzing the…

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Two basic types of hummingbird feeders.

Hummingbird Feeder Types: Saucer vs. Vacuum Feeders

You may have noticed that I changed the type of hummingbird feeders on the webcam. This is a method to help control bees. There is a drought in Southern California, and the local bees are desperate for water. What could be better for them than a water source that is sugary to boot! The bees…

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Bee Water Dish

Bee Dishes to Help Keep Bees Off of the Feeders

Old hummingbird window feeders make great bee dishes! Since I have been putting up bee dishes, I have greatly cut down on the number of bees attacking the hummingbird feeders. When I see a lot of bees at a feeder, I either take the feeder down and replace it with a bee dish or replace…

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Webcam Hummingbirds 9/9/16

The bees have pretty much left the webcam feeders so I am taking down the saucer feeders and returning the vacuum feeders, as the birds clearly prefer the latter! The praying mantis is back, but she has positioned herself in front of Bill Merritt’s bee pez dispenser. As long as she stays there she is…

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Praying Mantis Update

I checked on the feeder hourly today, and the mantid discovered that the bees really like Bill Merritt’s copper “onesie” feeder. The feeder was accidentally positioned in a “down” position so it was slowly leaking nectar. The mantid set herself under one of the bee dishes about three inches away from the leaking feeder. Almost…

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Another Advantage of Bee Dishes!

Hmmm. The first predator praying mantis for the season has shown up, but she’s planted herself on one of the bee dishes. I guess the bees are much easier prey for her than the birds. I think I will leave her be for now and monitor the situation. If she starts getting interested in the…

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