This spring an overwintering queen wasp vespula vulgaris emerged from hibernation and chose our shed as the site to create her colony. Colonies are usually formed below ground, as was the case in 2015, when I made this recording by the entrance hole under one of our flowerbeds.
After initially building a small nest with chewed up wood pulp, which dries to make a papery substance, the queen begins to lay eggs which develop into non-reproductive workers. The workers take over colony maintenance, building and food collection duties and the queen becomes an egg laying machine, growing the colony through the summer months. At the end of autumn a number of eggs develop into new queens and males, which leave the nest and mate. The new queens seek out suitable places in which to hibernate, and the males and the old colony (including the old queen) die.
2 x DPA4060 to Sound Devices 702 mixed to one mono track. 1.30am, 14/06/17, Hertfordshire, UK
References: Naturespot – www.naturespot.org.uk/species/common-wasp