Play halted at Indian Wells Open after bees invade cable camera

Mar 19, 2024

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Play halted at Indian Wells Open after bees invade cable camera

Mar 19, 2024

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Bees invade court at Indian Wells Open

A lot of people think tennis is quite boring. Or at least the coverage of it typically is. Well, one match at the Indian Wells Open managed to spice things up with a little bee-roll (sorry, not sorry) after a swam attempted to make a new home inside the court’s cable camera.

It was the quarter-final match between defending champion Carlos Alcaraz and 6th seed Alexander Zverev. Things were going as planned until a huge swarm of bees invaded the court. After stinging Alcraz, they headed for the cablecam.

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Oh, bee-have!

It’s not the sort of thing we usually have to deal with at Wimbledon here in the UK. Usually when matches get called, it’s on account of rain. Not much chance of rain at Indian Wells, California, though. Instead, they get bees.

As the bees come onto the court, both the players and the crowd are noticeably bemused by their appearance. But when bees started to stick the players, a hasty retreat was made. Several members of the crowd, too, also chose to leave their seats – and probably headed to the bar – for safety.

The majority of the audience, however, seemed to stick around. As I said, they were bemused. I expect most people never see a swarm this big in person (I haven’t). And they certainly don’t try to see them set up a new hive inside a camera suspended on wires.

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Tennis’ new hero

As the bees started to make their new home, more arrived. The footage shot by that camera got quite surreal. With bees crawling all over the lens and housing while flying around the court, it’s a very strange scene indeed.

But the day was saved by a bee wrangler who happened to be in the area on another job. Lance Davis runs Killer Bee Live Removal, and when he received the call, he headed straight to the courts. Using what looks like an industrial vacuum cleaner, he attempts to suck up the bees and find the queen.

Once the queen is removed, the rest of the bees will follow her. But while she remains, bees will just keep coming.

Eventually, the bees were removed from the court, and play resumed after about an hour.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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