A few weeks ago a large hole appeared near my garden one morning. I checked it out, wondering if the groundhogs were expanding their territory, but found this instead:
To the Google! (This is where I get all tingly! I love research!)
It turns out the larvae are a favorite snack of raccoons and skunks, both of which are plentiful around here. So maybe someone had a nice meal. Or maybe they got there too late, after the larvae had hatched. Either way, the nest was doomed. At the end of summer the old queen dies and the new queens fly off to mate and ride out the winter until they can begin a new nest in spring. There were probably thousands of wasps in there. Fascinating! But I'm glad I didn't know that this summer when I was picking rhubarb a foot away from that hole.