Here's one study: Martin (1994, 1995) calculatedthe effective reproduction rate (i.e. the number of vial/mature daughters perinvading mother) as 1.3–1.45 in a single infested worker brood, while for dronebrood it was 2.2–2.6.
It seems that "support" is a complicated issue. Since you are asking about foundress mites, that number is determined before the larger size of the drone cell is significant. What seems to be a key issue is that multiple foundress mites may result in the premature death of the bee pupa in the cell. That may mean the all/most the daughter mites do not emerge alive.
Thanks guys I am going to read these when the kids are in bed. I have heard of the Huang article, but not the other one. I ask because I am curious if the benefit of brood breaks in the North is caused by: Multiple mites entering cells from the new queen and (because of the competition) starving out; The grooming of the exposed mites by the workers; Splits dividing the mites - if splits are made; The new queen outlaying the mites versus an older queen slowing down; Or something else.
A forum community dedicated to beekeeping, bee owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about breeding, honey production, health, behavior, hives, housing, adopting, care, classifieds, and more!