The specification infers that the container never serializes an instance of an Entity bean (unlike stateful session beans). Thus passivation simply involves moving the bean from the “ready” to the “pooled” bin. So what happens to the contents of an instance variable is controlled by the programmer. Remember that when an entity bean is passivated the instance gets logically disassociated from it’s remote object. Be careful here, as the functionality of passivation/activation for Stateless Session, Stateful Session and Entity beans is completely different. For entity beans the ejbPassivate method notifies the entity bean that it is being disassociated with a particular entity prior to reuse or for dereference.