Queen Yellow Jacket

Queens are a caste of yellow jackets that lay eggs and generate new members of the nests. Depending on the species, queens may build above-ground or underground nests; both are constructed of fine plant fibers combined with saliva and appear to be made of paper.

After a queen yellow jacket begins a nest, she lays her eggs in the cells inside. When these eggs hatch, she feeds insects, meat, fish and other foraged material to the growing larvae. When they become adults, these new yellow jackets are the first workers. They are sterile female insects. They assume the responsibilities of building and defending the colony, as well as feeding yellow jacket larvae. The queen continues to lay eggs and is cared for by workers.

Because the queen yellow jacket is the only reproducing female within her colony, she is integral to the colony's survival. Yellow jackets become particularly aggravated when they sense that their queen or larvae are in danger.