Bees create a buzz in Corpus Christi

Swarm occupies dugout, delaying Hooks-Naturals game

A beekeeper attempts to rid the dugout of a swarm of bees at Corpus Christi's Whataburger Field. (Tammy Tucker/MiLB.com)

By Michael Avallone / MiLB.com | July 8, 2018 8:46 PM

There was a definite buzz on Sunday night at Whataburger Field, but it was anything but sweet. In fact, the sting was such that it caused an 85-minute delay in the game between Double-A Corpus Christi and Northwest Arkansas. 

Who knew bees were such baseball fans?

Video: Bees swarm in Corpus Christi dugout

With both pitchers on the field doing their pregame routines, a swarm of bees decided the time was right to build a hive in the Hooks dugout. Among those brave enough to venture close was Corpus Christi outfielder Carmen Benedetti, who took the incident in stride.

"Just another day in the life of a Minor Leaguer," the 23-year-old said. "Heck, it's not just down here, either. There have been instances with bugs swarming big league ballparks, too. But the bees are something new. We were all so surprised by it. The mosquitoes really started coming out a few days ago, but I don't think I've seen a bee down here all year. They called the exterminator to take care of it."

Animals and insects are certainly no strangers to ballparks. There are delays involving various critters every season. San Antonio's Nelson Wolff Municipal Stadium seems to be a favorite among the animal kingdom. The Missions had back-to-back games in May interrupted by a cat and a snake. And who can forget Brewers No. 5 prospect Brett Phillips corralling an opossum in 2016 for the second time in his Minor League career?

The bees were not the first visitors to cause a stir in Corpus Christi this season, either.

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"At the beginning of the year we had a raccoon roaming around our facilities," Benedetti said. "But the staff did a great job of caputuring it. After they had it in a cage, a bunch of us went to check it out and it would sit there and hiss at us. But with the bees ... I don't know, man. I don't know much about them or how to deal with them. If I had to pick a guy, I'd go with [infielder] Josh Rojas. He kept giving us reasons why this was happening. I guess he's experienced this type of thing before at home in Arizona."

Being, ahem, creatures of habit, delays can wreak havoc on a player's preparation and routine. That's especially the case if it's not weather-related. But as far as Benedetti and his Hooks teammates are concerned, it's business as usual.

"We're all loose about stuff like this, be it weather delays or a swarm of bees," he said. "We're in the clubhouse keeping focus and getting ready for whenever we get the OK to start the game.

"I guess bugs just like baseball."

Michael Avallone is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MavalloneMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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