I checked my bees on August 26, 2019. Both hives looked strong, but had not replaced the honey I had taken out, so I put back my extracted frames in place of empty frames and left them alone. They both smelled like goldenrod, and there was certainly a lot of it blooming near the hives. This picture is of the white hive's front entrance. That hive has used the side entrance as its main entrance all season, so apparently decided to cut this entrance down to a smaller size. It may be hard to see in the picture, but they have propolized it so that there are smaller entrance holes for the bees. This opening was only four inches wide to start, and only about an inch high. They wanted it even smaller, I guess! When times comes to winterize, I will still cover this with hardware cloth because a mouse could still fit in that opening. I will also probably try to get at least two inner covers back in this hive. The front third has a lot of burr comb, including honey stores they probably are counting on for winter, so I will leave that section untouched and try to fit in inner covers in the back two sections. This hive is double walled, so does not need extra insulation for winter.
I will not take any more honey this year. I am sure even right now they have enough for winter, but I want to make sure they have every chance. I will insulate the blue hive and flip its inner covers late September or October depending on how the weather goes. That hive also has propolized its front entrance but has not closed it down as much as the white hive. It uses its front entrance as the primary entrance and has a lot more bees crowded on the front porch and around the entrances than the white hive.