I'm looking into trying foundationless in my deep brood boxes. However I recently read some research which used a control group set up with wax foundation frames and another group(called 2007) set up with foundationless frames allowing the bees to build natural cell.
their conclusion was the control group hives(with foundation)produced more honey than the foundationless hives. They noted the bees in the foundationless hives built as much as 30% more drone comb than the bees in the control group. They attributed the difference in honey production to the larger amount of drone comb in the hives of the foundationless group. They also indicated a greater occurance of varroa in the foundationless group which they attributed to the higher amount of drone comb.
On Randy Olivers' Scientific Beekeeping site, he talks about similiar issues with foundationless citing a larger amount of drone comb produced and the varroa mites preference for drone larva. He attributes the disappearance of feral bees to the large amount of drone comb they naturally build thus facilitating lethal varroa infestations.
Those of you who have tried or use foundationless in the brood boxes, how do you manage drone comb? Do you experience more varroa? Do you see a difference in honey production between foundationless hives and hives with foundation?