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Articles on Pollen

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Common hazel dispersing pollen in early spring. Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Achoo! 5 essential reads for pollen season

Pollen brings seasonal misery to millions of Americans, but it serves a critical purpose: fertilizing many kinds of plants, including food crops.
Ragweed pollen, instigator of headaches and itchy eyes across the U.S. Bob Sacha/Corbis Documentary via Getty Images

Pollen season is getting longer and more intense with climate change – here’s what allergy sufferers can expect in the future

Rising temperatures mean longer, earlier pollen seasons, but the bigger problem is what carbon dioxide will do to the amount of pollen being released. A 200% increase is possible this century.
A bumblebee visits a blooming honeysuckle plant. Sidorova Mariya | Shutterstock

Urban gardens are crucial food sources for pollinators - here’s what to plant for every season

Up to 85% of the nectar available to pollinating insects in a city comes from gardens. What we plant – whether in an allotment or a window box – can make a huge difference.
Researchers crack the conundrum about why African Baobab trees in southern Africa differ in terms of fruit production. Sarah Venter

The sex organs of baobab flowers may solve the puzzle of trees that bear more fruit

Baobab flowers have male and female parts but individual trees appear to be favouring one rather than the other. To keep tree populations healthy and fruitful, both types are needed.
Today the shoreline of Lake Malawi is open, not forested the way it was before ancient humans started modifying the landscape. Jessica Thompson

Early humans used fire to permanently change the landscape tens of thousands of years ago in Stone Age Africa

Combining evidence from archaeology, geochronology and paleoenvironmental science, researchers identified how ancient humans by Lake Malawi were the first to substantially modify their environment.
A floral scent can be enjoyable for a person, but it has an important job for the flower. Richard L. Harkess

Why do flowers smell?

Not all flowers smell good, to people at least, but their scents are a way to attract pollinators.
Worker bees with capped brood (brown), open brood (white larva), all sorts of coloured pollen and shiny fresh nectar. Cooper Schouten

Curious Kids: how do bees make honey?

A single colony of bees can have 60,000 bees in it. Together, they can visit up to 50 million flowers each day to collect pollen and nectar. They’re not called ‘busy bees’ for nothing!
Spring has sprung, which means it’s hay fever season. From shutterstock.com

How to manage grass pollen exposure this hay fever season: an expert guide

If you get hay fever, minimising your exposure to grass pollen is likely to be useful. Fortunately, it’s becoming easier to keep track of the pollen count. But what do you do when it’s high?

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