We love the summertime around here…especially since we have access to a pool this year! No matter how much fun those long summer evenings and nights are, though, the days can be brutal. Everything outside is impacted by the heat – even your feeder! Heat can cause nectar to thicken and drip (or evaporate altogether!), mold to grow faster, and more. Read on to learn a few tips for caring for your hummingbird feeder in the summer!
Hang your feeder in the shade
If heat is the enemy, this first step is a simple way to mitigate the heat (even if by just a bit). While it can still be verrrry warm in the shade, it can feel 10-15 degrees cooler than in direct sunlight. Check out this great article for a more full treatment of this topic!
Change out the nectar often
Sugar ferments naturally, and heat speeds up that process. Sugar water sitting out in the heat day and night is guaranteed to spoil sooner rather than later. The only way to keep your nectar fresh for your hummers is to change your nectar regularly (every 2 days or so)! This is strongly recommended with any feeder, but is especially easy with Sweet Feeders, since you can store extra bottles in the fridge and swap them out easily!
Clean your feeder regularly
If you are changing out your nectar every couple of days in the summer, this provides a natural schedule for cleaning your bottles. Instead of filling up a sticky, empty bottle with more nectar right away, first run them through the dishwasher or give them a quick wash in a sink of warm, soapy water (then rinse). “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!”
Tilt your bottles up to prevent dripping
Heat causes the sugar water to begin evaporating and thicken, which can break the surface tension that keeps the nectar from dripping out of the feeding port. To remedy this summer problem, we suggest only filling the bottles about 4/5ths of the way full, and then gently bending your bottle holders upwards about 45 degrees. This should keep the nectar from dripping out as it thickens, and it also helps prevent wasps and bees!
These are some of our most often-used tips for caring for your hummingbird feeder in the summer. We hope they are helpful! We would love to hear if you have any more, though. Leave us a comment!