The wasps' nest is a common fixture in Australian homes. It is constructed by the wasps from chewed plant matter, mixed with saliva. The next will often be located near the ground, rather than up in trees and bushes, as with hornets.
Wasps produce a chemical that is repellent to ants. One single wasp will begin building this nest (the queen), constructing cells (between 20-30) before laying eggs. This usually takes place in the spring.
Once the larvae hatch, they begin to forage, maintain the nest and care for the brood (larvae etc.). These wasps are called "workers". A complete nest can house 3,000 individual wasps. There is one queen per nest. All the workers are sterile. Every year, at the start of winter, all the members of the colony die - except the queen. The only exception to this rule are milder climates, such as New Zealand. Here there can sometimes be found up to 10% of the colony still living after the depths of winter.
Many wasps are pests and can pose a threat to human beings. If you see a wasp nest it is best to treat it by contacting a professional.