Bees be gone: Royals game temporarily delayed — twice — by swarm

Spring training games don’t normally generate a lot of buzz — but in the Royals game against the Angels in Tempe, Ariz., on Sunday, there was a little too much buzz for most people’s liking.

A swarm of bees gathered around a microphone on the screen behind home plate and delayed the start of the game by 10 minutes. The bees forced the Angels’ defense off the field and some spectators from the stands.

The Angels had already taken the field and completed their warmups by the time the bees arrived and caused them to seek shelter in the first-base dugout.

According to The Associated Press:

When the beekeeper arrived to save the day, fans cleared the first six rows behind the swarm as the game was put on hold for more than nine minutes.

Tempe Diablo Stadium has a history of bees invading the park, with the Tempe Fire Department extinguishing a swarm before a spring training game last season. The Los Angeles Times even reported a bee swarm back in 1996.

For the Angels, though, bees on the field are nothing new to the franchise. Two of their minor-league affiliates are nicknamed the Bees — Triple-A Salt Lake and Low-A Burlington.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia told AP he’d seen bees at ballparks before but nothing quite like the gathering Sunday.

"We never had them migrating," Scioscia said. "Fortunately they stayed up there until we could get rid of them. If those bees would have stayed on the field, it would have been impossible to play."

You can follow Matthew DeFranks on Twitter at @MDeFranks or email him at matthew.defranks@gmail.com.