Are pesticides the reason honeybees are in trouble?


SAN MATEO — According to the United States Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service, the number of honeybees declined by 60 percent since 1947. Over the last decade, some environmental activists and scientists pointed to the negative effects of neonicotinoid pesticides as potential reasons for the declines in honeybee colonies. But some members of the San Mateo beekeeper’s guild are citing other explanations

Ripple plastic: The unintended life of plastic at sea


UK artist and conservationist Mandy Barker has spent years gathering plastic items from beaches all around the world, arranging and photographing them in evocative ways. With colorful items popping against a dark background, many of her collections give a feel of outer space — a galaxy of garbage. Barker’s work is featured in Our Plastic Ocean, a touring exhibition through Impressions Gallery in the UK. The exhibition includes a virtual reality experience of Barker’s photographs produced by Stanford University students that is viewable through rippleplastic.com.

Californians grapple with the loss of red abalone


The loss of the red abalone is not just a blow to the kelp forest ecosystem, but also to the sense of California’s coastal identity. Scientists, fishermen, divers and long-time residents recognize the abalone’s cultural significance and are working to ensure their survival.