The unfortunate effect that I had in the hive by trying to fix things and enforce straight comb drawing had me pretty pessimistic about the chances of my bees this winter. Everything was completely disorganized with brood and honey in random places, way too many drones and barely any honey.
The lesson I learned is that the hive is self healing and surprisingly so. Today’s inspection was an amazing discovery of their capacity to adjust. They reorganized all the frames, gathered some very good honey reserves late in the season and have a very healthy population.
And the best part is that the approach of enforcing straight comb drawing with plastic foundation every other frame worked! It’s still not an ideal scenario to have plastic in my “natural” top bar hive but it definitely takes care of the problem and I still get half of the frames 100% built by the bees.