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Arizona Diamondbacks game delayed after bees swarmed behind home plate

A swarm of bees created quite a baseball buzzkill in the desert.

The start of Tuesday night's game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks has been delayed after a bee colony swarmed the top of the protective netting directly behind home plate.

Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts met with the umpires shortly after the delay began and the public address announcer told the crowd about the delay.

A grounds crew member wheeled out a scissor lift after about 20 minutes, then waited for a beekeeper to arrive as fans in the sections behind home plate were cleared out for safety.

The beekeeper arrived about 70 minutes after the scheduled first pitch and pumped up the already-cheering crowd as he rode in on a cart from right field. The beekeeper suited up then rose up toward the swarm, causing more cheers.

With another quick wave to pump up the crowd, he stunned the bees with spray and started sucking them up with a shop vac, hitting the last few stranglers with more spray before heading down. The crowd cheered again and the beekeeper pumped his fist as he lowered back onto the field.

The delay lasted nearly 90 minutes and the players were given 30 minutes to loosen back up before first pitch. The Diamondbacks switched starting pitchers after the delay, from Jordan Montgomery to Brandon Hughes.

Fans had to stay even later when the game went into extra innings. The Dodgers loaded the bases and took a one-run lead in the 10th, but Christian Walker responded with a two-run walk-off homer that gave the Diamondbacks a 4-3 win.

Bee swarms are common during the spring in Arizona and have caused numerous spring training delays through the years. A bee swarm also caused a lengthy delay in a tennis match between Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, last month.

Chase Field has a retractable roof, but it was open for Tuesday's game.

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Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.