It is early spring. This female has just emerged from winter hibernation, built the nest she's sitting on, and laid eggs in the cells...

When the eggs hatch, she'll feed the larvae with prey she brings to them.

Eventually adult female wasps will emerge; at that point the wasp will stop foraging and become a queen.

She'll begin ruling her offspring, known as workers, by aggressively dominating them.

As a consequence of confrontations and aggressive interactions, each individual in the community will know who dominates them, and whom they can dominate.

The queen disappears, and the most aggressive worker takes over. This worker begins laying eggs and continues to dominate all below her.

As summer progresses; the nest is enlarged.

The more eggs are laid, the more workers are produced, and the queen dominates all.

It's possible that a wasp from outside the colony will come and overthrow the queen and become queen herself. Or perhaps the old queen, the one that had disappeared, will return.

So the wasp is now preparing to set up a ruthless society of specially trained warrior slaves that will be kept in line by force, as she waits for the day when the one who left dares to return and usurp her hard won position; and to take over what they once left.

She waits for the day; and hones her sting…

…So she can kill the one who betrayed her.