Since the queen is the same queen in both the optimal and suboptimal brood nest, with the same physical characteristics and abilities, the amount of eggs laid in the suboptimal (2 brood boxes) and optimal broodnest (adapted broodnest) is the same. There is the same amount of brood in a broodnest with for example 7 honeycombs as well as with 22 honeycombs. Why is that? The queen has a physical limit, she can only lay a certain number of eggs, just as we humans only run the hundred yards in a certain time. Even with training or sophisticated shoes, we don't run faster.
At some point, each of us has reached an individual limit. It is not physically possible to exceed this limit.
And so the amount of eggs in the optimal and suboptimal brood nest is the same.
The difference between an adapted and non-adapted brood space lies in the spatial and temporal extent of the brood nest. The brood is spatially much more distributed in the non-adapted brood space. That has direct consequences.
Imagine a group of people sitting in a restaurant within a hotel and being served food and drinks by two waiters. If the group sits together in a room as a cluster, the waiters can take good care of them.
However, if the guests are spread across the entire hotel complex, with one guest in each hotel room, it is simply impossible for the waiters to provide all these people with food and drinks at the same time. The guests are all hungry at the same time and want to be taken care of!
The only solution to serve these distributed guests at the same time is to work with more staff.
The same thing happens in the beehive. The group of people is our brood. The waiters are the nurse bees, heater bees, supply bees, etc. - in other words, the "care bees".
If the brood nest is compact and spatially dense on a few honeycombs, then only a few care bees are required. If the brood nest is distributed over a large number of honeycombs, then it takes considerably more care bees to supply the same amount of brood.
A bee colony typically hibernates with 5,000-10,000 bees and grows to full strength in the course of spring to around 30,000 bees. In the literature, the limit of 20,000 bees is mentioned on two-broodbox systems, at which the so-called "forage maturity" occurs. From 20,000 bees on, the bees collect so much honey that the bees take on the first honey super. This is the so-called maturity level 1.
The second level and the full foraging power the bee colonies develop with 30,000 bees in the bee colony.
The following is observed by all beekeepers who work with an adapted broodnest: In colonies with an adapted broodnest, the bee colonies start to accept the first honey chamber and fill it with honey from as little as 10,000 bees.
Why is that?
Organize the existing staff better
As we have shown in our example with the waiters and the guests: the spatial distribution of the guests creates an additional need for staff. This additional requirement was created artificially and is unnecessary. If the group would sit in a room as a cluster, you would get by with fewer waiters.
It is the same in the beehive
A queen lays about 2,000 eggs a day. Calculated over 21 days of a breeding cycle, we have 42,000 brood cells. This number wants to be supplied. According to literature, one nursing bee supplies about 4 cells. If I divide the 42,000 brood cells by 4, I get almost 10,000 bees, which you need to take care of the compact brood nest. (And is the size of a typical winter cluster, which is no coincidence...) Instead of 20,000 bees in the unmatched brood nest!
This frees 10,000 bees from direct and indirect brood care. 10,000 more bees that can collect or process honey. Instead of 10,000 bees, 20,000 bees hunt for honey with such a colony.
Before honey greed is said to me again: I'm not just thinking about honey. The freed bees can also do completely different tasks in the beehive: heating, cleaning, collecting propolis, building honeycombs, etc. Such a colony with free resources is much more efficient in all things!
A living being that is in a body that fits it, is always more efficient, more capable of survival, more independent than in the reverse case.
Another observation: in the adapted broodnest, you will find that the bee mass, ie the number of bees in such a colony is growing faster and larger than in an unmatched brood space. The hives grow like yeast dough! And form much larger colonies than normal.
The bee masses in such colonies are sometimes very amazing. Why is that?
In my opinion, this phenomenon of large bee colonies can only be adequately explained by the fact that the bees that do not nurse are getting older. A population can only grow if the mortality rate is lower.
If 10,000 bees are relieved of the task of brood care and therefore get older, fewer bees die per day than if the brood room is not adapted, where the bees are placed for brood care and die younger.
Which causes all the effects described above.
On top of that, adapting the broodnest - which is done only one time a year, in mid January to start of February Ė is a lot less work than stacking boxes, shuffling frames. And produces great results.