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The general protection goal is to protect biodiversity and ecosystems. The protection goal for bees aims to protect survival and development of colonies, and limit effects on larvae and bee behaviour. In addition, abundance/biomass and reproduction are considered because of their importance for the development and long-term survival of colonies.
The viability of each colony, the pollination services it provides, and its yield of hive products all depend on the colony‘s strength and, in particular, on the number of individuals it contains. Therefore, protection goals are related specifically to colony strength (colony size). The magnitude of effects on colonies should not exceed 7% reduction in colony size. Foragers’ mortality should not be increased compared with controls by a factor of 1.5 for six days or a factor of 2 for three days or a factor of 3 for two days.
Honey production is important for beekeepers and it is expected that honey production is covered by the protection goals for colony development and forager mortality.