Bees will draw plastic foundation out jsut fine, if that is their only option. the seem to prefer foundationless, then wax, then plastic. I havent had very much luck getting them to draw out plastic frames in position 1 or 10. it seems like they just never get motivated enough to draw out the side facing the exterior of the hive. as far as a max number of frames... i doubt it matters. a package is often installed on bare foudnation, and many folks have no problem with this. I've adopted a "meh, they'll figure it out" kind of philosophy with my bees. It has made working with them a lot more enjoyable and less stressful. But, I'm a small time guy with less than 20 hives and no real goal of making lots of honey or lots of bees.