>since the bees are going to be busy building new comb in the brood boxes, as many as 3 or 4 times over, how good is the honey yield going to be (provided it is a decent honey producing year)?
I don't think the loss in yeild is so much from the honey going to make wax as the foragers not having anyone to offload to because they are busy drawing wax. But it does cut into the yeild some.
>I'm guessing it will be about the same as always since there will be bees in the fields collecting the necessary materials for honey and bees building the comb, but the bees building the comb are going to be using up honey that is brought in by the field bees.
They build comb very quickly when they are in that mode.
>One more...considering an established hive with two brood boxes of drawn large cell, about how long does the regression take from start to finish (also provided a decent honey producing year).
It depends more on the beekeeper than the bees. If you want to do the maximum agressive technicque, you do a shakedown and take all their comb away and give the brood to some other hive and put them on nothing but small cell foundation or foundationless frames. A step down from that is to just remove all the honey from the brood chamber , move the frames of brood to the outside and put empty frames between drawn brood combs. If you did this about once a week it will go pretty quick, but I don't mess with them that much. The more often you do it the quicker it goes. If you go at minimal pace, that would be simply culling out bad combs and opening up the brood nest as needed to prevent swarming and putting in empty frames (or small cell foundation).
So you could do one full regression with a shakedown in about an hour and the bees will take about a month to get that drawn and get going well on it (in the spring in moderate flow) and do another shakdown as soon as they are. (if you do this use an excluder for a queen includer so they don't abscond). I think this is too tramatic.
Or you could do it as gradually as you wish. If you are determined to not use any treatments you are in a race with survival. If you don't treat at all and you don't get them regressed in about one year the mites are likely to do them in before you are done. But I'm afraid the stress of shakedowns adds to the problems making them more susceptable to viruses and other problems.
I just do a few frames at a time. If you look for opportunities to get small cell comb into the brood nest you will find them. Pulling frames of honey out is easy. Everytime you find a large cell comb that is all honey or empty, pull it and take the comb out of the frame. Everytime you find a large cell comb of brood, move it to the outsides. And all the while keep replacing with empty frames between two drawn combs, or foundationless or small cell foundation.
If there are no checmicals used in the past, you can harvest all of this honey. If you have treated, then you can harvest it and feed it back later.