MLB.com Columnist

Jesse Sanchez

Beekeeper protects Royals, Rox from incident

Beekeeper protects Royals, Rox from incident

SURPRISE, Ariz.-- A swarm of bees hovering near the home dugout created quite the buzz for the first two innings of Tuesday's game between the Royals and Rockies at Surprise Stadium.

Fortunately for the bees, fans and Royals players, Lowell Hutchinson, a retired beekeeper visiting from St. Joseph, Mo., happened to be(e) sitting near the front row.

The original plan was exterminate the bees, but Royals manager and noted outdoorsman Ned Yost objected. The manager actually protected the bees until Hutchinson identified himself, stepped on the field and put the bees -- who had gathered on a black ball bag -- into a trash bag and carried them off the field.

The crowd erupted into cheers as the beekeeper safely escorted the bees off the field.

"I told [Mike Swanson, the Royals' vice president of communications and broadcasting] we ain't killing those bees and we better figure something out," Yost said. "There are not enough bees in the world, boys. We cannot be exterminating them."

Last March, a large swarm of bees that had gathered on a microphone behind home plate delayed a Cactus League game between the Royals and Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium. The bees were eventually exterminated and Yost was outraged with their treatment in what he called a "mass bee genocide."

"They are so important to our environment because they pollinate everything," Yost said. "It doesn't make any sense for me to panic and kill bees when you don't have to. I was proud of the way we handled it. They are not going to mess with you, just don't mess with them. Kind of like the Royals -- don't mess with us and we won't mess with you."

Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.