Matt Hilton Details Removing Bees From Chase Field To Prevent Dodgers-Diamondbacks Game From Being Postponed

The Los Angeles Dodgers continued their series against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night, but it wasn’t without a near two-hour delay due to a swarm of bees that took residence on top of the netting behind home plate.

“The scheduled game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Lois Angeles Dodgers has been temporarily delayed due to the presence of a beehive in the netting directly behind home plate at Chase Field,” the Diamondbacks said in a statement.

“We anticipate that the game will resume promptly following the successful removal of the beehive by a professional beekeeper. Updates will be provided as soon as they become available.”

That beekeeper was Matt Hilton, who left his son’s tee ball game to safely remove the bees and help ensure the Dodgers and Diamondbacks would play, via Jack Harris of the L.A. Times:

Their knight in polyester armor: Matt Hilton, the Phoenix branch manager for the DiaBlue Sky Pest Control, the team’s go-to stadium pest company.

Hilton was across town at his 6-year-old son’s T-ball game when he first received a call about the bee problem. A 15-year employee of Blue Sky, he quickly jumped in his car, made the half-hour drive to downtown Phoenix, and removed the bees just in time to prevent the game from being postponed.

Hilton was determined to remove the bees as quickly as possible and said he had no issues getting to the stadium during his 45-minute drive:

“We know that this was really important to get these games going,” Hilton said. “So when we hear that there’s bee issues out at Diamondbacks stadium we tried to get at it right away.”

“There was zero traffic,” he added with a relieved smile. “Thankfully.”

Hilton sprayed the bees with a non-toxic solution and relocated them to a site away from Chase Field:

Wearing a protective suit and mesh headdress, Hilton sprayed the bee colony with a “nonpesticidal solution” before humanely vacuuming them up and taking them off-site.

“It was a little nerve-wracking, I’m not going to lie,” Hilton said. “Lot of pressure to get this game going. But I was happy to come and take care of it.”

The Diamondbacks thanked Hilton by inviting him to throw out the first pitch at an upcoming game:

“I kind of ate it up a little bit for a little moment,” he laughed. “It was a fun time.”

This wasn’t the first time bees have delayed or postponed a Major League game, with previous instances happening in Miami and during a Spring Training matchup at Tempe Diablo Stadium between the Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Angels.

Dodgers lose to Diamondbacks in extra innings

While Landon Knack turned in another solid start for the Dodgers, the team fell 4-3 to the Diamondbacks in 10 innings. Christian Walker won it for Arizona with a walk-off home run, his second long ball of the game.

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