Wasp nests are established by a queen in the spring. In the first warm spring days, the queen wasp will look for a shelter that is dry and warm. She begins building a spherical nest that is about 5cm big, which she herself keeps warm by moving her muscles.
The workers that hatch thereupon relieve the queen of the work of building the nest and feeding the larvae. The queen will not leave her den again and will only lay eggs.
Only in autumn, when it gets significantly cooler, will the queen only produce young queens and drones (male wasps). The colony can have a population of around 5000 workers until late summer. After the first night frosts, the old queen dies and the young queens and the drones fly out to mate, with the drones dying soon afterwards and the queens looking for a place to hibernate until the following year. The old nest will not be used by a new queen.
A wasp lives an average of twelve to 22 days. However, the life span of the males is slightly longer. Only the queens live up to a year and hibernate for just one season. After their winter break, they build a nest and set up a colony in the spring. This grows up to midsummer and then dies out again. The life cycle is closed with the new young queens that hatch in autumn.
Within a nest there are three different types of wasp and their sizes differ: