Re: quilt top an a screened bottom?
You don't really have to choose between an open bottom and a closed bottom - you can have both.
You can find free plans for a screened bottom board with an optional "closure" board at the bottom here:
The plans do not show enough vertical space for an oil tray, but you can simply increase the distance between the screen and the lower closure board to make space for a tray. You will then need to buy or build a tray to hold the oil, and make a wood "plug" to block bee access to the tray while still allowing for maintenance.
The end result is very similar to Country Rubes pre-made version:
One option for a pre-made metal tray is a half sheet cake pan (13"x18") similar to this:
Plastic cafeteria/lunchroom trays are also available in a 12"x18" size, generally at a lower price than cake pans.
*(Note that the Beesource plans are in Adobe PDF format. The link shows a thumbnail sketch of the plans, and you need to click on the linked phrase "IPM Screen Bottom Board Plans" to download the actual plans. If Adobe Reader is not installed on your computer, you can get free here: http://get.adobe.com/reader/
Do not confuse the official Adobe Reader program with the "View PDF" banner ad that seems to be running on Beesource at the moment.)
Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 10-27-2013 at 10:32 AM.
Reason: fix broken link
USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft