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Arizona beekeeper tackles bee swarm at Diamondbacks game, throws out first pitch: ‘It’s pretty cool’

Arizona beekeeper Matt Hilton arrived at Chase Field Tuesday night to deal with a swarm of bees, and he ended up staying to throw out the first pitch. 

The Diamondbacks’ game against the Los Angeles Dodgers was delayed nearly two hours Tuesday night when a swarm of bees began to gather at the top of the protective netting behind home plate.

Diamondbacks vice president of baseball operations Mike Rock got a call about five minutes before the start of the game.

“[The senior manager of events] said we have bees landing on the net right behind home plate. I said, ‘How many?’ And she said, hundreds — no way, thousands. And I knew we had a problem.”

That’s when a call to Hilton, a branch manager for Blue Sky Pest Control’s Phoenix office, was placed. 

A swarm of bees gather


“Minor leagues to the big leagues now,” Hilton, who was at his son’s T-ball game when he got the call, joked after the game. “It’s pretty cool.” 

But Hilton’s night wasn’t over yet. As a thank-you for his beekeeping efforts, he was asked to throw out the ceremonial first pitch, and the crowd roared. 

“I thought I was just going to do my thing and cruise out, but it was fun because of the thousands of people cheering for you,” he said. “It was a little nerve-racking, I’m not going to lie — a lot of pressure to get this game going.”

Beekeeper Matt Hilton throws out the first pitch

The Diamondbacks defeated the Dodgers, 4-3. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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