A future with more pollen - pollen facts


The reason for the wheezin?
Birds do it; bees do it; even educated beetles do it. They all watch for the first real mark of spring, and with it, the great pollening. As flowers return and unfurl, they?ll reveal a familiar yellow-green powder that streaks its way across our fields, forests, and windshields.
But for those who sneeze, wheeze, and water as the world begins to bloom, pollen is a less-than-welcome companion to spring. And scientists predict our future doesn?t hold much relief: With climate change, many pollen proliferators will have longer growing seasons, increasing levels of CO2 to feed on, and a profusion of pollen to produce.
So grab your Flonase and pack your tissues: We?re venturing to the flower field. As the old adage goes, the dander you know is better than the one you don?t.
Let?s take a sniff around.
By the digits
1 million: Number of pollen grains a single ragweed plant can produce per day
40%: How much the amount of pollen produced during flowering season in the U.S. could rise by 2100
1 in 2: People expected to suffer from allergies by 2050, according to the World Health Organization
$40.4 billion: Expected value of the allergy treatment industry by 2025
9.7-12.0: A high pollen count, or how many pollen grains per cubic meter of air are collected over a 24-hour period, according to, which tracks results from Burkard and Rotorod measuring systems
40 pounds: Amount of pollen a single honey bee colony can gather in one year
>$15 billion: Estimated value that bee pollination contributes to U.S. crops each year
~20,000: Known bee species in the world


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