Worker wasps hatch in the spring and live until temperatures dip below freezing. The queen lives much longer, continuing the breeding cycle for several years.
Wasps make their homes in aerial nests or vacant ground burrows, depending upon the species. They can be aggressive and emit a pheromone when stinging that causes other wasps to attack. Wasps can sting their victims more than once since they do not lose their stinger during an attack. Swatting at a wasp only makes it more aggressive. The best way to avoid a wasp sting is to remove oneself from the area. Most wasp stings are not life threatening. However, some people are allergic and should receive immediate medical attention.