Fertilized queens emerge from hibernation in early spring and start a new colony in abandoned rodent nests. About three weeks later workers emerge and take over gathering food - nectar and pollen - and cell building. The queen then concentrates her efforts on egg laying. As many as 250 workers are found in a nest. Males appear in summer, and males and females fly out of the nest to mate. Males are not allowed back into the nest and die soon after mating. The newly fertilized queens begin searching for a place to hibernate, but the workers and old queen die during winter.
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