The Queen of Trees tells the amazing story of an African sycomore fig and of her very special relationship to a tiny insect, the fig wasp.
The history of this extraordinary tree goes back millions of years. In tribal cultures, her curious ways have fueled myth and legend and have set her apart from other trees. She appears never to flower, yet mysteriously she fruits several times a year. She seems to have no regard for season and drops her leaves when she pleases. Strangest of all, she couldn’t be more different from another living creature, upon which she completely depends. One can withstand a river in flood, the other can drown in a dew drop. One lives for centuries, the other only hours. They differ in size a billion times over. At about a millimeter long, the fig wasp is so small that it could fly through the eye of a needle – but no fig tree could exist without it.
This relationship is a pinnacle of co-evolution, and the basis of a complex web of dependency that supports animals from ants to elephants. Each individual fig is a microcosm – a stage set for birth, sex and death as the tiny players battle against predators and parasites to fulfill their mission: the life. 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.
Filmed entirely in high definition, this documentary is the outcome of a two-year shoot.