Every summer, we normally get problems with bees and wasps being attracted to the syrup in a hummingbird feeder. Part of the problem is that it's an easy meal for the insects, and the bees are trying to desperately fill their hives with honey to survive the winter. Scavengers like yellow jackets are often attracted to sweets, including cans of soda pop.
Dr. Greg Hunt, Bee Specialist at Purdue's Department of Entomology strongly urges people to NOT try to feed the bees. His reasoning is that bee hives contain a LARGE number of worker bees -- you are only seeing the smallest fraction of the hive at your hummer feeder. If you feed the bees, you will attract a larger number of workers (with stings!) to your home...which is exactly what you DON'T want to do! However...if you live near a woods, and think the hive is out near there, you can try to put a feed pan out AWAY from your home. Get a reasonably shallow pan, preferably disposable, and fill it part way with syrup (basically, the same recipe you'd use for hummers). Place some leaves and sticks in the syrup, so that the bees don't drown trying to get to the sugar. You may need to refill this every few days because the heat will evaporate out the water quickly. The idea is to lure the bees and wasps away from your property. Dr. Hunt also recommends changing your hummingbird feeder to one that is "bee-proof". These are feeders that have either bee guards over the opening, or are designed to place the syrup out of their reach. Hummingbirds have long tongues, and can easily reach syrup that is far out of reach of the bees. If the bees can't get to it, they'll eventually lose interest and move somewhere else where they can definitely get a meal. [Hort Alert is a free service of the Purdue Extension Service of Vanderburgh County.]