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Does Honey Attract Hummingbirds?

A hummingbird eats at a feeder.
T Goebel/Shutterstock.com

Spring is finally here, and many of us will be spending more time outdoors. For those with patios and gardens, this means the opportunity to see hummingbirds. But when it comes to attracting them to your garden, can you use sweet substances like honey that you might already have in your pantry?

While there’s no question that hummingbirds like sweetness, honey is actually bad for hummingbirds.

There are a few reasons why using honey can do more harm than good to your hummingbirds. First, it could ferment. The natural sugars, when exposed to warmth and sun, could turn into alcohol and intoxicate or even kill your birds. Plus, when it’s diluted with water, the natural antimicrobial properties of honey become weaker. It could spoil quickly and cause excessive bacteria and fungi to grow.

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Finally, if your hummingbirds get a sip of the sweet, sticky substance, it could actually end up getting stuck on their tongues and forcing their bills shut. They won’t be able to eat and might end up starving to death.

What’s more, honey is messy and might end up attracting other insects to your feeder that could deter your birds.

If you want to know how to attract hummingbirds safely, simply set out one colorful feeder and create a “nectar” of white granulated sugar and water. Heat the mixture slightly so the sugar dissolves and let it cool before offering it to your birds.

You can also plant colorful flowers around your home to attract even more birds naturally. The more safe food sources you can provide, the more you’ll be able to enjoy the sights of sweet hummingbirds all season long.

Stacey Koziel Stacey Koziel
Stacey Koziel is a news writer at LifeSavvy. She's worked as a freelance writer for over ten years, focusing on family and lifestyle content. She also has a background in marketing and social media, and is always eager to talk (and write!) about the latest TikTok trends. Read Full Bio »
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