Saturday, 19 July 2014

Apis Mellifera: Honey Bee a high-speed short video filmed by Michael N Sutton

Michael N Sutton wanted to film bees in high-speed

"Apis Mellifera: Honey Bee" a high-speed short from Michael N Sutton / @MNS1974 on Vimeo.

"I have wanted to film bee's for quite a while and luckily for me there happened to be an apiary in my town. Allen Lindahl owner of stepped up and allowed me to film his hives. It was 92 degrees out and the sun was bearing down, but I was told sunny days are when the bee's are most active. Without a bee outfit, I was ready to shoot. I was able to get pretty close to one of the hives (about one and a half feet) which was perfect for using the Canon 100mm Macro IS. I primarily filmed with the Canon 30-105mm Cinema zoom lens wide open. I also used a 300mm Tamron and a Nikon 50mm. I had my trusty Sound Devices Pix 240i as a field monitor and for recording ProRes via the HD-SDI out of the Photron BC2 HD/2K. It was very hard to track the bee's as they fly very fast and were getting a little bothered by how close I was to the hives. I was only stung three times which is pretty remarkable due to my proximity and my lens poking almost into the entrance way of the hive. I shot for approx 2.5 hours each day. It was so hot I got a pretty bad sunburn and the camera was hot enough to cook a fat porterhouse. There was a few moments that were intimidating when bee's started landing on my arms, face, in my ear and on my eye. I just stayed still and they went on their way with the exception of the three stings (1 on the arm, 1 on the neck and 1 under my ear). Bee's are actually quite docile and would prefer not to sting. They just want to make honey.
Shot/Dir/Edit by: Michael Sutton @MNS1974
Equipment used:
Camera: Photron Fastcam BC2 HD/2K high-speed S35 camera system w/ custom trigger & batteries (1000-6800fps) 2K, HD (1080p & 720p) and SD
Lenses: Canon 30-105mm Cine zoom, Canon 100mm Macro, Nikon 50mm, 300mm Tamron SP
Recorder: Sound Devices Pix 240i w/ Sandisk CF cards
Support: Kessler Crane Carbon Fiber Stealth, Manfrotto 516 head w/546GBK tripod
Music Licensed via:
Licensor's Author Username: lacisz
Licensee: Michael Sutton
Song: Dubstep Drift
Item ID: 4234563
Purchase Date: 2014-07-01 23:08:46 UTC
Special thanks to:
Mike Cohen
Allen Lindahl of Hillside Bee's
Heather Sutton
Eric Kessler and Chris Beller of Kessler Crane
Contact: Michael Sutton
email: mike at frozenprosperity dot com
phone: listed on website
twitter: @MNS1974

Thursday, 12 June 2014

A year in the life of a Bramley Apple Tree - June 7th

The shade of the ancient bramley apple trees has been much appreciated over the past few days!

Our tree is laden with baby apples though many will drop during June as it "self-thins"

June is a glorious month to spend time in an orchard.

I'm following this 100 year old Bramley Apple tree with Loose and Leaf 's follow a tree, the tree itself can be found in the orchard at The Orchard Tea Room & Farm Shop.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

A year in the life of a bramley apple tree - May 7th 2014

Here's a photograph of the 100 year old bramley apple tree I'm following with Loose and Leaf 's follow a tree, as you can see it's not the only ancient tree in the orchard at The Orchard Tea Room & Farm Shop,  a whole row of bramleys that are around 100 years old. Many of them hollow with boughs touching the earth but still producing apples.

The blossom has all but gone on these trees just a few flowers clinging on though the high winds of the last few days will probably finish them off too.

But here are a couple of photographs from earlier in the month

bramley apple blossom buds and

in full blossom. Glorious isn't it?

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

A Year in the Life of a Bramley Apple Tree - 8th April

I'm a little late with my follow a tree with Loose and Leafy post this month, but better late than never as they say.

Firstly I thought I'd show you close-ups of my chosen tree, a (almost) 100 year old Bramley Apple tree that can be found in the orchard at The Orchard Tea Room & Farm Shop.

As you can see the tree has not escaped damage during its' long life. Part of it is hollow, possibly caused by a branch falling long ago. But there is plenty of life there.

The branches are encrusted with mosses up to 16 different moss species have been found on the old Bramley trees in this particular orchard:

Amblystegium serpens Creeping Feather-moss
Brachythecium rutabulum Rough-stalked Feather-moss
Bryum capillare Capillary Thread-moss
Ceratodon purpureus Redshank
Cryphaea heteromalla Lateral Cryphaea A Clean Air species
Dicranoweisia cirrata Common Pincushion
Frullania dilatata Dilated Scalewort
Grimmia pulvinata Grey-cushioned Grimmia
Homalothecium sericeum Silky Wall Feather-moss
Hypnum cupressiforme Cypress-leaved Plait-moss
Hypnum resupinatum Supine Plait-moss
Orthotrichum affine Wood Bristle-moss
Orthotrichum diaphanum White-tipped Bristle-moss
Orthotrichum lyellii Lyell's Bristle-moss A Clean Air species
Rhynchostegium confertum Clustered Feather-moss
Syntrichia laevipila Small Hairy Screw-moss
Syntrichia montana Intermediate Screw-moss
Syntrichia papillosa Marble Screw-moss A Clean Air species
Ulota bruchii Bruch's Pincushion A Clean Air species
Ulota phyllantha Frizzled Pincushion A Clean Air species
Zygodon conoideus Lesser Yoke-moss

The tree is almost in blossom, I'll get some photographs for you as the buds open.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

A year in the life of a Bramley Apple Tree - March

 Bramley Apple Tree

I'm following a tree with Loose and Leafy.

My chosen tree is a Bramley Apple tree, this particular tree is believed to be about 100 years old and can be found in the orchard at

The very first Bramley apple tree was grown from seeds planted by a young Mary Ann Brailwood, in the garden of her parents house in Southwell, Nottinghamshire in the year 1809. Although the original Bramley tree suffered a horrible accident during a violent storm in the year 1900, the strong winds ripped the tree from the ground, it has survived and continues to produce Bramley apples to this day. So the tree I'm following is mere youngster by comparison but still ancient for a commercial orchard.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Pruning Apple Trees

It's that time of year again, time to prune the fruit trees. Trees will try to grow upwards but we don't want them to so they have to be pruned.

Quite a big job on these old bramleys.

For anyone who is interested in learning how to prune their own fruit trees take a look at these Pruning Fruit Trees Courses

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Wassailing ~ A Happy New Year

It's not a Fenland custom but they've been Wassailing orchards to scare off evil spirits and encourage the apple trees into growth for hundreds (maybe thousands) of years in Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.

Here's to thee, old apple tree,
That blooms well, bears well.
Hats full, caps full,
Three bushel bags full,
An' all under one tree.
Hurrah! Hurrah!