To bee or not to bee

Okay, now that’s just weird. We’ve seen the local wildlife interfere with the game before–just ask the Royals about the birds in the outfield at the Jake, or the Yankees about the midges at…the Jake…yeah, Cleveland really needs to do something about those animals. But this afternoon’s Astros-Padres game was delayed for nearly an hour in the top of the ninth inning when a swarm of bees descended upon left field at Petco Park, apparently attracted to a ballgirl’s jacket that was draped over a chair. I first found out about this thanks to ESPN.com’s “Streak for the Ca$h” game (yes, that’s how it’s spelled), as the game in question was one that I’d made a pick on. Figuring the game would be just about over, I found it in the top of the ninth, two outs, no one on, and then as I was looking for something more detailed, a hit was recorded. Following it initially on the live scoreboard, it continued to say that it was a 1-0 count. For quite awhile. So I pulled up Gamecast, with the same results. Thinking ESPN.com might be lagging, I went to MLB.com. Same results. Intrigued, I turned on the actual game, and saw the bugs buzzing about–it took a little while before one of the announcers mentioned what they were, and at first I was in disbelief–“Did he just say bees?” Yes, yes he did. Bees. It also took my mind a little while to sort out which park they were in, at which point it made slightly more sense–but only slightly. Still, there are so many questions left unanswered. Where did all of those bees come from? Why were they attracted to the ballgirl’s jacket? Why did she even have a jacket for an afternoon game in San Diego? Hopefully more details will be released soon.

Update: Okay, some answers have been given: The bees, which reportedly numbered in the thousands, had attached to a queen bee. Padres president Tom Garfinkel said that head groundskeeper Luke Yoder has a beekeeper on speed-dial–which sort of says that they knew that there’s a high bee population in the area. However, this only brings up more questions. How did the queen bee get there? Why did the swarm not appear until the ninth inning? And if they knew that there might be a bee problem, why wasn’t anything done before then? To try to ascertain some of these answers, I consulted Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_bee. There, I learned about the swarming process and the virgin queens, which I presume is what we had here. You can follow the link if you’re interested in learning more. Interesting what this game can teach you, eh?

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