The Final Spoonful of Honey


Having almost reached the end of the semester, we thought it would good to reflect on our experience with the Community Bees so far. It has been fun, enriching, sometimes difficult and challenging too, but overall we had a great time as a team.

We ran a number of fun events, starting from our Pub Quiz at Southside social. This provided an opportunity to introduce ourselves to other students from the EES programme, and to get to know each other in a friendly context. It also allowed us to find out how many people were interested to attend our event and work toward building the Community. Overall, we had a great turnout and very positive feedback.

Enjoying pints and socialising at the Pub Quiz!

Following the Pub Quiz, we started to think about what to do next. Since it was getting close to Christmas and to get into the festive spirit, we held a Christmas Ceilidh which provided a well needed distraction from exams. It was an unexpected success due to the amazing turnout, the great music, and the £ 300 raised for the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

When ecologists show their dance moves…

As semester 2 started, we hosted another fun pub quiz at Moriarty Bar and helped with the organisation of the Art/Science Exhibition held in King’s Buildings. These events also proved to be popular across year groups and the impact of the Community BEES has been noticed by staff members too.

The Crew Building all decorated and artsy!

After the experience gained so far, we reflected on past events and how to make future ones even more successful. Our priority now is trying to recruit new members which will take place over the Community Bees next year. We are really happy about the enthusiasm and commitment of first years, who are regulars at our events and seem very keen to join the Community in the future.

We’ve also been thinking of creative ways of fundraising, such as selling Community BEES jumpers and t-shirts and having a cake sale. As the weather gets nicer we might take the chance to host a barbecue in the Meadows and do other outdoor activities. We are obviously looking forward to see many of you for a fun day in the company of our eco-pals!

Spring is the best season in Edinburgh to enjoy barbecues, sport and fun activities outside!

We think that the creation of the Community Building Team has had a very positive impact on most year groups. We noticed that first years especially took advantage of our social events as a chance to get to know each other and now seem to be a tightly knit year group. Fourth years believe that this is a great achievement since we were not offered such an opportunity and it took us a longer time to recognise our peers.

Other than all the fun we had being part of Community BEES, this experience also enabled us to develop a range of skills, such as communication, team-work, time-management, organisation, problem-solving…which will all be useful for your future life!

We’ve found it a very rewarding experience and we think you should all get involved!


The See and Inspire Art/Science Exhibition!

During the Festival of Creative Learning, the Community BEES collaborated with Dr. Christina Coakley to put on the See and Inspire Art/Science Exhibition! The event was a great opportunity for students and staff to express their artistic talents, drawing inspiration from ecology and the underappreciated aspects of the natural world. Submissions included photographs, painting and even sculptures, such as the one seen below, which was created by Pippa Stone.

Pippa’s super sculpture

The event took place on the 23rd February at the Crew Building, the home of ecology at Edinburgh Uni, and the ecologists turned up in force! Undergraduates, post-graduates and staff enjoyed a pleasant afternoon of culture, art and, most importantly, free wine. For the first hour or so, guests mingled and explored all the nooks and crannies of the Crew Building, with art on display from the basement all the way up to the attic. They were then asked to vote for their favourite student and staff submissions.  A talk from The Arty Scientists on the importance of communicating science in new, creative and more accessible ways. They discussed their workshops in which they demonstrated the effect of pollution using pink litmus paper.

Following the talk, the Community BEES team at the event headed downstairs to meticulously count the votes and crown a winner, in a process arguably as complicated as the Eurovision Song Contest. Several hours (or minutes) later, they emerged from the depths of the Crew Building, prizes in hand, and announced the eagerly anticipated results to the crowd. The winners were as follows:



Best Undergraduate Piece: Gabrielle Cathala

3rd Place: Ribanna Dittrich

2nd Place: Pippa Stone

1st Place: Andy Griffiths


Best Staff Piece – Kathryn Murphy

With the formalities finished, an ensemble band of ecologists delighted the crowd with some folky tunes. There were recorders, accordions, mandolins, and there was even an impressive cameo from Dr. Margaret Graham on the double bass!

Too much talent for one photo!

This was a good chance for attending undergraduates to expand their horizons and to talk to their seniors about their work and the ins and outs of ecological research and careers in academia. It was also a super opportunity for us to advertise the role of the Community BEES to a wider audience compared to the regular attendees of our events, and to receive feedback on our future role within the School of GeoSciences.

The Community BEES Pub Quiz

For our first official event, we decided to round up students from all years of the Ecological and Environmental Sciences degree at the University of Edinburgh. But, it was not an easy job! Prior to the event, Community BEES members were assigned to different teams, each with a different duty. Louise and Eilidh did an excellent job of designing and ordering our Community BEES jumpers which arrived just in time for the event! The pub quiz design was down to Nick, Rob, Heather and Larisa. Finally, advertising was left to Andrew, Aoife, Anna, Galina, Prabina and Eleonora.

Full Community BEES Team in Uniform

After 3 weeks of organising and getting the word out, 40 students descended on Southside Social ready to get their brains interrogated and their ecology knowledge evaluated. Students were assigned to teams using a sophisticated system of coloured post-it notes. This ensured that the students could see who was in their year group and that teams contained a mix of ages.

Rounds were designed to start off easy and gradually get harder. There was a range of topics including geography, history, sport, ecology and a flower themed music round. It was a close race between first and second, with half a point between ‘Team formerly known as Norfolk in Chance’ and ‘The Hornets’.

In between rounds, the students had an opportunity to socialise over drinks and free nachos. Winners (The Hornets) were rewarded with a box of Krispy Kreme Donuts to their delight. There were consolation prizes for 2nd and 3rd place.

Free food!
Socialising between rounds











After the pub quiz ended, students finished their drinks, some ordered new ones, some danced and eventually they slowly trickled out into the night.

Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with numerous people commenting that they couldn’t wait for our next event. Some even enquired about joining the Community BEES Team!

Special thanks to the Staff from the Southside Social who helped make the event the success it was.

A brilliant night all round!