I am phasing out the use of wax foundation by going ‘top bar style’ on my Langstroth frames. This year, I tried alternating frames. I used some with foundation and some without. I stuck popsicle sticks into the grooves to serve as starter strips. The bees drew both out beautifully in their bottom boxes.
When I added another box, I didn’t alternate, just empty frames and starter strips. When not alternating like I did before, the bees built cross comb. I left it for them, as is. I hadn’t planned on pulling honey from that hive anyway. It’s an experiment of sorts. I’ve wondered if they’ll overwinter better with a natural comb design.
In the future, I hope to have enough naturally drawn frames so that I can alternate with empty frames. I may then be free from wax foundation strips. Here’s a pair of their popsicle stick frames.