The Queen of Trees

The Queen of Trees is a beautiful film on how the Sycamore fig tree and the fig wasp share a curious and important co-dependency.

Both the fig tree and fig wasp differ in size a billion times over, but neither could exist without the other.

Their extraordinary relationship underpins a complex web of dependency that supports animals from ants to elephants. Each fig is a microcosm – a stage set for birth, sex and death.

The female wasps enters the opening of the fig fruit of their choosing to lay their eggs, at the same time pollinating the internal flowers.

After the eggs have hatched inside the fruit and the wasps have gone through pupation, the mature males and females will mate.

The males, which are unable to survive outside of the fig for very long, will dig a tunnel for the females to emerge.

The females, with pollen from the flowers inside their host fruit sticking to their bodies, then fly to another tree to repeat the cycle of pollination and egg-laying.

But the wasps aren’t the only ones who gain from the Sycamore fig tree; tens or hundreds of different species rely on the giving nature of the fig tree.

Among them are monkeys, vast amounts of insects, lot of birds and humans.

It is one of the most amazing stories in the natural world – a tale of intrigue and drama, set against grand Africa and its wildlife.

The Queen of Trees
  • Info
  • Release date2005
  • Full runtime
  • Director(s)Mark Deeble, Victoria Stone