I have read on a couple of threads lately some interesting and thought provoking lines of discussion and something suddenly occurred to me. (Iddee, G3 - insert joke here ) Has beekeeping changed in that it has simply boiled down to a numbers game? With all that has occurred over the last decade or two, but the last decade particularily (ccd, nosema ceranae, beetles, etc.) has the basic emphasis on beekeeping shifted, becoming little more than "staying ahead of the game" proposition. We split like mad, buying queens, collect swarms, etc. all in an attempt to build up to a certain set of numbers, hoping to offset last winters losses and stay well enough out front to be able to absorb the future losses. I realize that we must do what we have to in order to survive in this endeavor and I have no problem with that. Beekeepers have allowed for deadouts for decades in the 10 to 15% range, splitting in the spring to make up losses. But it seems things have evolved into preparing for winter losses (of a much higher order, ie: we put more hives than normal into winter, try overwintering nucs, etc.) Have some of us (a generalization, no finger pointing here) reluctantly abandoned prevention and instead turned to preparation of the inevitable? Acceptance has become a form of beekeeping? I am not wishing to stir the pot here but I am interested in others opinions on this.