Wasps and bees are beneficial insects, although they are generally considered to be pests because of their ability to sting. Wasps are beneficial because they pollinate flowers but they also prey on many insects, including flies, crickets, caterpillars and other insects.
During late summer and fall, as queens stop laying eggs and their nests decline, wasps change their food gathering priorities and are more interested in collecting sweets and other carbohydrates. Some wasps may become aggressive scavengers around human food and hummingbird feeders.
The colony dies in the fall with only the newly produced queens surviving the winter. The new queens leave their nests during late summer and mate with males. The queens then seek out overwintering sites, such as under loose bark, in rotted logs and in other small crevices. These queens become active the following spring when temperatures warm and sap begins to run. Then they search for favorable nesting sites to construct new nests. They do not reuse old nests.