Workers, males and queens of this species have subtle differences in appearance. Males lack the black spots on the abdomen and have more of a yellow/black banded appearance instead. Queens have small black spots that line the sides of the abdomen. A black diamond shape near the 'waist' is visible. Usually, only queens survive the winter, though there have been cases where others survive the season. Queens hold fertilized eggs inside until spring when they form a small nest and lay them. A queen will feed the first larvae chewed up bits of insects and caterpillars that she catches until these larvae become adults. These new adults will then care for any eggs and expansion needs so the queen can focus solely on laying more eggs and building up colony numbers. Adults drink nectar (and sweet beverages) and attack insects use as food for their young.