A single wasp begins construction on a nest that may eventually house more than 500 adults. The queen lays four or five eggs in a small comb protected by several layers of papery material (top, left). She forages for wood fibers that, chewed and matted with saliva, will form new layers for her nest. The process is deliberate and precise: The queen measures the dimensions of her nest with her antennae (bottom, left). Her eggs hatch into larvae, pupate, and emerge as workers. The wasps continue the nest's expansion, leaving the queen to egg laying. By the end of the summer, a large nest (bottom, right) contains males, female workers, and a number of specially nurtured new queens, which leave the nest to begin their own nests come springtime.