BNP Paribas Open Tennis Match Suspended After Swarm of Bees Invades Court

Carlos Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz (left) being attacked by the swarm of bees on Thursday at Indian Wells. Twitter

In a bee-zarre turn of events, tennis players had to walk off during a quarterfinal match of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells on Thursday after the court was invaded by a swarm of bees.

Second-ranked Carlos Alcaraz was playing opponent No. 6 Alexander Zverev when the umpire announced that play would have to be halted due to the "bee invasion."

"Ladies and gentlemen, we are surrounded by bees here so play is paused for a while," umpire Mohamed Lahyani told the crowd. "Play cannot continue. Pause for a while now."

The stoppage, which was nearly two hours long, began early in the first set after Alcaraz was swarmed as he was about to serve with the score at 1-1. He began swatting at the bees with his hand and racket before leaving the Stadium 1 court as he ran to the locker room for cover. The bees were also seen swarming the spider cam - a camera suspended by cables.

Local beekeeper Lance Davis was called upon to get the insects off the court.He used a vacuum to remove the bees from the spider camera after arriving without any protective clothing. Play then resumed after a delay of one hour and 48 mins and Alcaraz went on to win the game 6-3, 6-1.

It wasn't the first time a professional sporting event was suspended by bees. A 2019 baseball game between the Miami Marlins and San Diego Padres was delayed for 28 minutes after bees gathered on a microphone attached to the netting near the Padres' dugout.

A 2023 game between the Colorado Rockies and Baltimore Orioles was paused for five minutes when a swarm of honeybees settled in left field.