Wasps The main wasp species in the UK are the Common or English Wasp (Vespula Vulgaris) and the German or European Wasp (Vespula Germanica). They belong to the order of insects known as Hymenoptera and are related to ants and bees.
Queen wasps emerge from hibernation in the spring and having mated in the autumn will commence building a nest in possibly a roof space, hollow tree, abandoned mouse or vole nest, rabbit hole, air vent, wall cavity, in fact almost anywhere. The nest is made up of hexagonal cells and built from chewed up, pulped wood. The queen lays her first eggs in the small, perhaps golf ball sized nest and when the eggs mature into grubs they are fed by the queen on protein based food such as small insects.
When the grubs develop into adult wasps the queen restricts her activities to egg production & the worker wasps take over the hunting/feeding duties of the growing colony, plus the cleaning, waste removal and building of further cells.
Towards midsummer the queen begins producing next years stock of queen grubs and males or drones, when these mature they leave the nest to mate. The new queens then look for somewhere to hibernate and the drones either die of starvation or are eaten by predators. Meanwhile back at the nest, the old queen will have stopped producing eggs and the number of developing grubs will have gone into decline, the worker wasps which have fed on secretions from the growing grubs all through the summer will begin to starve and this is when they begin making nuisances of themselves by gorging on ripening fruit, scavenging in rubbish bins etc and of course raiding picnics and barbeques.