One queen establishes a colony in the spring. She emerges from overwintering and either builds a burrow in the ground, moves into established hollows or building cracks, or she enters the nest of a weaker Yellowjacket species, killing its queen and commandeering the workers on her behalf. After feeding on insects and carrion, she lays eggs that will become workers for her. Nests are expanded by these workers using saliva and vegetation, and many combs are built into the colony in short time. Once workers handle the day-to-day tasks, the queen focuses solely on laying eggs. Active during the summer, most colonies see a decline in numbers and activity by Thanksgiving as the cooler weather sets in. All individuals in the colony die in winter except queens, which are inseminated before autumn is over in preparation for the next year. Some warmer areas of Florida see activity year round.