Category Archives: Kev’s Shed

Video tools, toys and adaptations

For the benefit of Ricky Haynes

I still meet up regularly with a group of school friends, some of which go way back to my infant school years.  Like me, life has been kind to them and they don’t look a day over 21-years (ah hem!!) – well all except one poor chap, Ricky Haynes, who has always been a little on the slow side.

Anyhow, when I posted my last video on the honeybees (http://vimeo.com/37314982) Ricky was simply unable to spot the ones with bulging pollen sacks – so I went back to the hives today and filmed some close ups for him.

Kev’ Shed – More close ups on the bees using my Macro Tube from Kevin Cook on Vimeo.

This was really another excuse for me to experiment with some of the DSLR toys I’ve been collecting over recent years. Getting up really close to the bees was a job for my macro tube which I bought new from eBay for just a couple of pounds.  When connected to my vintage Fujinon 200mm f4.5 lens it enabled me to get a big enough shot without upsetting the bees too much and having to put my bee suit and clobber on.

With the cropped sensor of the Canon 550D, the 200mm lens is the equivalent of a 320mm lens on a full frame sensor camera.  In real terms this meant I could position the camera about 3-feet away from the entrance to the hive.  Sticking the same macro tube on my 50mm lens would have meant having to getting the camera about 6-inches away.  I tried that – and the bees didn’t like it much.

So – result is I’m now a bit more practised in the use of the macro tube and Ricky Haynes will now know what a honeybee laden with pollen looks like when one lands on the end of his nose!

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Bees flying

23rd February was the first really nice day in 2012 and my bees were out flying! It was a good chance to shoot some footage on my Canon 550D (with Magic Lantern) and some vintage lenses.

Kev’ Shed – The first proper outing for the bees in 2012 from Kevin Cook on Vimeo.

Whilst I have seen the odd bee or two coming and going from the hives over winter, there was one hive (the one furthest from the camera in the film) which was very quiet indeed. It was positioned on its own half way down the drive but I gradually (see below) moved it up with the other two. This is a much better spot as it gets the sun for a much longer time each day. The warmer the bees are the more active they become – and its a lot less draughty there too.

The hives in winter

If you move your hive you should do it in small steps – no more than 3-feet per day. Failing that you should move it more than 3-miles away, leave it there for a week or so, and then move it back to the desired position. This stops the bees becoming disorientated. If you moved the hive say 6-feet the bees would return to the old hive position and perish. Move the hive 3-miles away (which is just beyond their foraging distance from their hive) and the bees will come out of the hive, realise they are somewhere completely new and re-map the hive location.

Clever little things aren’t they?

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