The Will O’ The Wasp

The more I learn about figs, the more I realize how little I know about them.

My tree has five little figs on it. There are three on one branch and two on another. I used to have six but one disappeared.

A fig is actually an inverted flower. Some varieties of figs get fertilized by a special species of wasp that crawls inside the fruit to lay its eggs. Mama wasp doesn’t make it out alive. She loses her wings on the way in and gets digested by the fig’s enzymes.

I was under the impression that several varieties of fig trees, including the one I have, don’t need wasps to pollinate them. Therefore, I don’t know why I saw some insects that resemble wasps hanging out the fig leaves. They didn’t seem to match the pictures of fig wasps that I found online. Perhaps they were just sweat bees taking a rest. I’m starting to realize how little I know about insects.

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