In your case you may play without foundations but it does not help bees beyond the edge of bees' natural area.
Foundation has 100 g wax ( 0,2 lbs). When bees draw the foundation they exrevere wax same measure.
For one Langstroth comb they need 200 g wax. Whole box need 2 kg wax. 1 kg wax needs 6-8 kg honey + pollen. To draw combs without foundations needs 15 kg honey (30 lbs). So half is saved if you use foundation.
Feeding larvae strains young bees most. Second big effort is to exrecete wax and build combs.
So it sounds like the foundationless aspect is what you object to. I can understand that as a concern. I'm not sure I buy the claim that it takes twice as much honey and pollen to draw comb from scratch, because I don't think there's an equal amount of wax in the foundation as in the cell walls.
If that is the primary weakness, what do you think of Michael Bush's horizontal hives with frames? Are they equal to a lang?
Natural beekeeping is a exertion to bees, it is more expencive than "commercial",
This is the same argument I hear about farming anything in Alaska. They say "we have 6 inch walls in our barns in Wyoming so you'll have to have 14" walls in Fairbanks to make it easy on the animals, and that will be very expensive." They say "our livestock doesn't go outside when it's 0F so you'll have to keep yours inside all winter long, and that will be very expensive." They say "you can't have angora goats kid when it's colder than 40F or they won't survive, so you'll have to schedule your kidding to be in the summer, then you'll be weaning in the winter and won't be able to sell kids until the next year." When I say you can get around some of those things by using different methods, they say "Oh, you'll fail if you don't use state-of-the-art modern agri-industrial methods." They are always wrong.
Intensive management using industrially proven methods is very expensive in the sub-arctic, no matter what you're producing. Extensive management, with intensive focus on some key aspects (exactly what TBHs were designed for) is almost always as successful, less resource-intensive (though sometimes more labor intensive), and less expensive in the long run. It is certainly possible that bees will be the species that are an exception to that, but it seems unlikely to me.
and gives a lot smaller honey yield.
I've heard this claimed many times, but I've never seen it tested in a controlled experiment. Even if it is true, though, consider that honey is not the only product of a hive. There is a huge exchange in beeswax in my area, and it's virtually all brought in from outside. Also, it's not hard in the summer time to find jars of locally produced honey at the farmers' market. However, there's a huge market base of people interested in organic/animal-friendly/naturally produced foods here. If I can produce cut comb honey in "more bee-friendly hives" then I can double the price and draw the same income from half as many hives. Again, it's no different than other things I produce. Most angora goat keepers say if you're not making money on mohair, you're not making money on your goats. I sell all the mohair I can produce, but I make more selling meat goats and goat kids.
I se no advantage in beekeeping without foundations. But if you feel better when you have "natural beekeeping" in Alaska, it is good for your soul.
Good for your soul is the most important commodity of all. Otherwise I wouldn't live where I do, I wouldn't be farming, and I wouldn't be an artist.
No beekeping is natural in Finland or Alaska because bees cannot live here in nature as feral bees. They survive short time and die off. Varroa destroyed all our "natural" bees. But they were merely escaped swarms.
I won't disagree with that. As I've said before, very little on my farm is natural in Alaska. Firewood and lingonberries, yes, everything else wouldn't survive one winter here without my help. The biggest organic farmer in the area grows most of his produce in greenhouses or heated raised beds. Nothing natural about that. I'm not the one who said the TBH it was natural. However I am convinced it's more "bee friendly," and (besides being good for my soul) I'm positive I can turn that into a marketing advantage.