Follow our progress running the nursery, watching wild bees, keeping honey bees and creating our own bee-haven in south Oxfordshire

Rosybee construction: the final phase - irrigation

It has been just over a year since we finally got planning permission and started construction. I cannot say that I have enjoyed this aspect of starting the business; so much of what we have been doing is sufficiently unusual that the various trades struggle to give exact quotes and timeframes. In short, except for the elements that have been done by specialists its been of working very closely with our contractors and solving the problems as they arise. This week we have had the digger back on site to both dig some drainage channels to let rain water flow away from the polytunnel and also to lay some of the plumbing to provide water for the irrigation system.  Best of all we got the sump tank set into the ground; this was tricky as you have to get a very heavy tank set at just the right level to allow the water feeds in and the overflows out; all done - phew.

Our irrigation involves capturing the rainwater off the polytunnel roof into a great big storage tank (pictured above), then feeding a sump tank in the ground (now in that hole that you see full of water) from which a pump will flood the ebb-flow benches and gravity will return the surplus back to the sump. This entails a lot of pipes, pumps, values, filters and eventually a control panel where I hope I can just push a few buttons and the rest will happen. Or at least that is the theory but we have a lot of pieces to fit together ....!