Swarm of bees descends on baseball stadium and delays game for two hours

Last night, a swarm of bees invaded Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, just five minutes before a game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodges was about to start. The bee colony swarmed into a large mass on the protective netting behind home plate.

Fans seated in the area of the swarm were evacuated.

Beekeeper Matt Hilton was 23 miles away, at his six-year-old son's tee-ball game, when he received the call to come to the stadium and remove the bees. Link to an article by Fabian Ardaya and Tess DeMeyer in The Athletic is here.

It was standard operating procedure for Hilton, a 15-year employee at the company [Blue Sky Pest Control] who said he has done hundreds of commercial assignments just like Tuesday night's — except this one had tens of thousands of people in attendance. According to Hilton, the swarm was neutralized by a non-pesticidal solution, sucked into a vacuum and released at an undisclosed location offsite.

Hilton was rewarded with the honor of throwing the ceremonial first pitch when the game could finally start, two hours after it was scheduled.

Talk about burying the lede. It took my review of several articles to find out in this UPI piece that the swarm was probably of KILLER BEES!

Hilton said there was a high probability that the pests were Africanized honey bees, also known as killer bees. He also said the bees might have turned aggressive if agitated by the net moving. Instead, they were taken out of the stadium and set free off-site.

This was not the first time a MLB game was delayed due to swarming bees. The Athletic:

Though the reason for the delay was unusual, it wasn't the first time a Major League Baseball game was interrupted by bees. A similar sticky situation unfolded in May 2019 when a bee swarm delayed a game between the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants for 18 minutes. One month later, the same thing happened during a San Diego PadresMiami Marlins matchup, pausing the game for 28 minutes.