Wasp colonies are comprised of workers (sterile females), males, and queens. The survival and success of the colony depends on the queens’ ability to survive the cold weather during winter as they are the only members of the colony that survive the winter.
In spring, the overwintering queens begin building new nests and laying eggs. The eggs hatch and become larvae. The queen continues to build the nest, hunt for food and feed the larvae until the larvae mature through the pupal state and become adults. Then, the queen can focus all of her efforts on laying eggs while the other adults build and protect the nest as well as hunt for food for the remaining colony members.
Mid to late summer, the queens produce eggs that will hatch and become sexually mature male and females. These adults leave the nest and mate. These newly fertile queens will seek a location to survive the winter and start the whole process again.