How to Make Hummingbird Food

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This DIY hummingbird food is easy to make, highly economical, and made with 2 simple ingredients.

We have a lot of hummingbirds that visit the farm every summer, and when the temperatures near triple digits, they swarm the front porch like a bunch of bees.

Because of that, we really go through the hummingbird food. But I don’t buy it at the store. I make my own with 2 ingredients.

hummingbirds around hummingbird feeder

The store-bought kind is filled with chemical preservatives and often food coloring. The brightly colored feeders are all that you need to attract the little hummingbirds, no dye necessary.

Thankfully this hummingbird food is quick to make, because any time the feeders run low, the hummingbirds will actually hover outside my window and look at me.

No kidding. If I ever seen them do that, I check, and sure enough they are out.

So I head into the kitchen to whip some up.

hummingbirds around hummingbird feeder

Clean Your Hummingbird Feeders

Now before I get to the recipe, I just want to impress upon you how important it is to keep your hummingbird feeder clean. Because of the sugar in the feed, it is easy for the feeders to get “gunky” (that’s a technical term, of course.) Little bugs climb in, mold may try to grow.

This can cause your hummingbirds to get very sick or even die. You don’t want that.

So on a regular basis, take the feeders down, wash with hot, soapy water and scrub with a brush, inside and out.

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The little part where they actually feed from can be difficult to clean, so I soak those in some diluted chlorine bleach water for several minutes.

Then wash them with the soapy water and rinse well.

DIY Hummingbird Food Recipe:

To make your hummingbird food, you just need a couple things.

  • 1 part sugar (yes, I use organic)
  • 4 parts water
  • saucepan & stove
  • spoon

Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan, and bring it to a gentle boil over medium heat.

Stir occasionally.

Let the mixture boil for 1 minute, and remove the pan from the heat.

Cool completely.

That’s it!

The quantity you use of the water and sugar depends upon how much you need. I generally try to make only what I need at a time.

If you have extra, store it in the fridge, in a jar with a lid. Use it within a week.

hummingbird eating hummingbird food at feeder

2 thoughts on “How to Make Hummingbird Food”

  1. I just replaced my hummingbird feeder with one like you have. The bees are now driving us all crazy and running off my Hummers! How do you keep the bees from coming to yours? The openings are not supposed to let the bees drink, but they must be getting something. I had to replace it with another one.

    • I have found that the hummingbirds drip or drool the syrup onto the outer part, giving the bees access to it, even though it is “bee proof.” I keep more than one feeder, and spray them down often to keep them clean. That seems to help.


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