What is the life cycle for hornets and yellowjackets?

The nests are annual and started in the spring by a single queen who alone survived the winter. She will begin the nest herself and build 20-45 cells enclosed in a sheet or two of paper envelope. The eggs take about 30 days to develop into an adult worker wasp. These first workers relieve the queen of foraging for food, building material, colony defense, and brood care. The queen can now focus on laying eggs and more workers are produced throughout the summer into fall. Around late summer they will switch to building larger cells that will rear the new queens for the following year. The males are usually reared in the small cells like the workers. The nests depending on the species will die out from late August until early December for other species. The old queen, workers, and males all die. Only the new queens survive the winter.