I tried using the video camera on my cell to inspect one of my hives — and it worked.
It’s not the most thorough hive inspection, but I only wanted to see if the brood nest was expanding in the bottom box from a nuc I started a few weeks ago. The camera on my phone (which happens to be a Nexus 4) is close to the edge of the phone’s casing. That means it’s close to the ground as well and can easily sneak a peek through the hive’s bottom entrance.
If the camera was any further from the edge, this little trick probably wouldn’t work. The bottom entrance on this particular hive also happens to be a little higher than most because the bottom board is a home made thing I banged together with scrap wood. It’s not what you’d call a regulation hive entrance, nothing standard about it (and it works perfectly). The video, by the way, shows the cluster on one side of the hive. The brood nest is expanding up but not across (I think some people call that the chimney effect). Either way, it’s a small but healthy colony and I’m happy.
I love technology! I was at a store over the weekend looking at cameras and saw a lens camera that attaches to a cell phone (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/sony-dsc-qx10-18-2-megapixel-attachable-lens-style-camera-for-most-ios-and-android-mobile-phones-black/1758117.p?id=1219063239743&skuId=1758117&st=camera%20for%20phone&cp=1&lp=1). I thought about getting it so that I could easily slip it into the hive for photos, but it looks like you managed quite well!