March is the apex of tree pollinating time in South Florida. Believe it or not, the first trees in South Florida start pollinating in December while other varieties don’t until April or May. We think of pollen as that yellow powder usually found on the windshield that reminds us of spring and blooming flowers. However the pollen that causes allergies is much smaller. Although invisible to the eye, it causes major discomfort to the eyes, nose and throats. That is one of the reasons that knowing the daily pollen count is paramount for anybody suffering of environmental allergies, particularly in the early morning hours.
To “break the spell” of the pollen as primary culprit of a variety of allergy related cases, let’s see some of its positive qualities. Scientifically speaking, it relates to numerous terms: coarse powder, gametes, stamens and pistils, flowers, tube, spores and pollination to say the most pronounceable.
Pollen associates to bees and the production of honey. When the plants bloom in the spring, the pollen of the flower is the best source of protein for the baby bees. So yes indeed, pollen is a good provider.
POLLINIZER vs. POLLINATOR
The concept of the Pollinizer and the Pollinator is very bucolic. The first is the bee and the latter is the plant. The bee collects and distributes the pollen facilitating the process of reproduction, a more technically terminology called cross pollination. We may imagine pollen as a step to procreation.
Honey bees, orchid bees, sting-less bees, bumblebees they all have the pollen basket. After a series of mechanic movements and the help of a long protruding tongue, the bees push the pollen and the spores collected around their body while flying through the flowers into the basket. At the end of one of their “trip”, their basket looks like one of those old fashioned picnic ones decorated with fringed gingham fabric.
To isolate pollen as the cause of allergy symptoms such as wheezing, watery eyes and itchy nose, brings joy to any Allergist. Adults and children under immunotherapy treatment are more likely to keep episodes under control. Spring has officially begun and with it over 30 million people started experiencing seasonal Rhinitis. South Florida is not included in the list of the worst 10 places for Spring Allergy sufferers; however the Allergist is the most reliable doctor to be consulted should any of the symptoms arise.