A fertilised queen wasp emerges from hibernation around mid April and searches for a suitable site to start her colony such as a roof space or tree cavity. The nest is constructed from chewed bark and dried timber mixed with saliva. The queen initially lays 10-20 eggs. This first batch hatches into worker (sterile females). These then feed and protect subsequent eggs laid by the queen.
By late summer a nest will contain 3000 to 5000 wasps. During late summer males and new young queens will emerge and mate. The female selects a suitable site to spend the winter ready to start a new colony in the spring.