A new yellow jacket colony starts each spring after the queen emerges from the spot that she has overwintered in. She searches until she finds a suitable area to create a paper nest and lay her first batch of eggs in. These first eggs will hatch and develop into worker females who are responsible for gathering food for the colony, increasing the size of the nest, and caring for the queen whose only job now is to lay eggs. By the end of the summer the colony is at its peak size and can have up to 5,000 members. During this time the queen will lay eggs which hatch into males and new queens. The males and new queens will mate and the new queens go off and find an overwintering site. The colonies current queen, males, and worker females will all die at the first frost and a new colony will begin the following spring from the new queens.