Students' ball raises funds for honey bee research

The bees' knees: University of Sussex Students' Union RAG bee ball organisers, from left to right,Bethan Hampson, Becky Edwards, Emma Shaw, Emma Shaughnessy, Clare Karslake, Becca Thomas, Adie Rouseel, Naureen Abubacker, Siobhan Kelly

Partygoers dined and waggle-danced the night away at a student-organised ball to raise funds for vital University of Sussex research into the honey bee.

‘The Bee Ball’ event, held at the weekend within the honey-coloured walls of Stanmer House, Brighton, was one of several organised by the University of Sussex Student Union’s RAG (Raising and Giving) Society to raise cash for good causes.


The black-and-yellow-themed ball saw Stanmer House awash with yellow lights, black and yellow balloons and black and gold confetti. Even the bees made an appearance, via video footage of the University bee hives in action, played on giant screens.


The night also featured two live bands, a DJ, a sumptuous buffet laid on by the Co-op (as part of its own ‘Plan Bee’ initiative), and sweet treats including a tower of black and yellow cup cakes and a chocolate fountain. Partygoers were also presented with complimentary jars of honey by leading UK honey firm Rowse, who are also donors to honey bee research at Sussex.


The event has so far raised around £2,500. The proceeds will be donated to the University’s Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects (LASI), which is currently undertaking vital research to halt the decline in honey bees.


RAG President and third-year Psychology student Emma Shaughnessy said: “LASI is strongly placed to make a key contribution to research into the reasons for the national and international decline in the honey bee population.


She added: “We at RAG hope that the night was enjoyed by all and that the contribution from both ticket and raffle sales from this event will show everyone at LASI that their work is very much appreciated by many.”


Guests could capture the evening on film with the professional photographer provided by Stanmer House as well as try their luck at winning one of the 17 amazing raffle prizes which included £120 worth of Eurostar vouchers with a £1 ticket.


LASI team members attended the ball, where LASI research scientist Norman Carreck made a speech. Professor Margaret Couvillon, who is leading one of LASI’s Sussex Plan projects, said: “The Bee Ball was a heart-warming example of how the larger Sussex community supports our research at LASI. And it was great fun!”



Notes for Editors


For more information about the RAG society, visit:


To find out more about LASI’s work, visit Applied studies on honey bee disease and foraging are currently being undertaken.



University of Sussex Press office contacts: Maggie Clune or Jacqui Bealing. Tel 01273 678 888 or email

Last updated: Tuesday, 2 March 2010