Re: Foundation-less frames: my experience
In early Spring, I inserted foundationless frames into the center of the brood nest to reduce crowding without splitting the brood nest as a method of swarm control. The bees turned almost all of it into drone cells. Right when I want to stimulate a build-up of workers, I am inducing them to make drones.
The hives I did this to had a huge number of drones by the end of Spring. The drone population was close to 50% of the hive population. The hives had so many drones it was impossible for me to find the queen. Just too many big bees running around for my beginner's eye.
I like the idea of letting the bees determine cell size for themselves by using foundationless, but the method I used above produced too many drones and I won't do it again. Not saying this would happen to everyone who did what I did, but this is what happened to me.
(1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')