A homemade hummingbird feed formula involves mixing four parts water with one part sugar and boiling vigorously. The mixture needs to be brought to the boiling point to eliminate bacteria that may otherwise grow and harm feeding birds. Hummingbird enthusiasts should not add dye to the mixture, as it may contain harmful agents.
The basic nectar formula provides an easy-to-eat treat for hummingbirds and should be placed in a clean hummingbird feeder. The sugar and water solution may be kept for days in a refrigerator until needed, and the formula requires changing every day in temperatures of 86 degrees or more to remain safe and sanitary for feathered friends to drink.
Hummingbirds feed five to eight times per hour, so use a feeder that is large enough to accommodate multiple birds and is easy to clean in a dishwasher or by hand with a safe sanitizing solution. This helps prevent the buildup of potentially harmful yeast or other microorganisms that enjoy the water and sugar solution.
Place the hummingbird feeder in the shade after filling it with the homemade formula to help it stay fresher longer and remain appealing between refills. An ant guard can help keep unwanted insects away from the homemade formula.