Here is some backstory to provide context for my question:
I live in southern/central California, USA, and have two hives and have been beekeeping for 4 years. Both hives have two deeps on the bottom, then three mediums on the top. We generally harvest the top two mediums and always leave the bottom of the three mediums for them. It has been a very productive spring, summer season...lots of stuff is still blooming in early Sept. Both hives seem very robust and healthy. In June, we harvested the top two mediums on one hive, and one of the top two mediums on the other hive, then put the wet frames back on the hives for them to clean-out and refill. A few days ago, we got our second harvest. We took the top two mediums off both hives, but 8 frames weren't really finished; we knew this was the case when we decided to harvest, but rather than leave the mediums on there any longer, we kind of figured that...even though lots of stuff is still blooming...they weren't making much progress on finishing those frames. We figured they must be about done for the season.
Here is my question: We want to put those 8 frames back for them to reclaim their honey, and once they have done that, we will remove these temporary top mediums, and leave them with their two deeps and one medium for the fall and winter. There is currently an inner cover on top of their medium in each hive. To return the unextracted frames, we are planning to get two medium boxes...one for each hive...and put four frames in each, and put these temporary mediums on top of the inner cover. Our thought is that leaving the inner cover in there will discourage the bees from repacking these returned frames, or brooding in them.
Is that a good strategy or is there some other way I should go about giving them their unextracted honey back? Anything else I should know?