Yep, KDM, the jumbo boxes are the right size to keep the brood nest in a single box. It is very nice to have the brood in a single box for a change! My queens in the jumbos have never ventured up into the supers yet (I don’t use a queen excluder). The only downside I see with the Jumbos is the extra hassle in making the custom frames and custom foundation. That is why I’m experimenting with the 12 frame deeps this next summer.
If I use the low cost PF100 frames I computed that each frame has about 8200 cells. The bees won’t lay in the outer frames so that leaves 10 frames for the queen to lay in. 10 x 8200 = 82,000 potential cells. Bees won’t fill all 10 with 100% brood, but in the spring the deeps with brood can average in the 70% range. 82,000 x 0.70 = 57,400 cells for brood. The worker brood cycle is 21 days so with 57,400 cells available, a queen would have to lay at a rate of 2700 eggs a day to really consume that much capacity. I don’t think most queens can do 2700 eggs a day. Although I’m sure (as usual) some beeks with disagree.
I used similar math logic in computing the size of my jumbo boxes and the bees have followed my math so far. :) My jumbos are using Pierco foundation though that is 5.3 mm cells (may 5.4, I can’t recall for sure). So it takes bigger frames to get the same number of bees you can get with those PF small cell frames. My bees don’t really love those PF frames, but they work fine if I spend the extra time to make sure they get combed out correctly.