The yellowjackets’ nest began with three workers placed directly above the front door of a one-story house. It was a small pile right above the frame, and the three sets of sharp wings created a triad of triangles moving about the small cone, developing the colony. The few, empty tube spaces would be filled in, and at night the three would stand guard—nestled around their tiny abode.
As the nest slowly expanded, they flew about more. Others joined in at the new subdivision. Empty spaces filled up, and more paste was added. The sides slowly spread out, and more triangles appeared. As more came, the work continued later and later into the evening.
They became more aggressive once they received wi-fi. They flew around furiously, ready to threaten anything that came too close. After installation, the internet technician was run off the porch. They would gather around to watch Call the Midwife on the queen’s entertainment center. Drones didn’t have control of the mouse. They expanded the nest to cover the giant flatscreen, and still more began to join.
The increased materials needed for the growing mass of the colony made them more litigious towards some of the other insects. They harassed a bumblebee hive out on an adjacent awning until eventually that hive packed up and moved down the block. There was only enough material for one plugged-in community.
As they bought cars for the queen (who had a taste for big, expensive luxury SUVs), they became increasingly NIMBYish about the trash pickup trucks and decrepit wooden structures the termites had. They flew over the other colonies, ogling the massive mounds of dirt they could use for their own location while at the same time drawing up civil complaints and code violations against the standalone colonies—their claim was that every insect colony needed to be attached to a house. In this way, they could remove the termites without resorting to stinging.
The queen decided there should be an addition to the porch. Some other insects, including the ants, began to protest because the extension covered up their own colonies. The wasps’ position was held up in district court, which stated that since the wasps owned the house, they owned the property. The judge, an elderly praying mantis, was accused of bias for spending too much time around the house with the wasps’ nest.
On a particularly hot summer day, there were protests from the other insects surrounding the belligerent behavior of the wasps. The queen decided that the answer was to have each insect also pay tribute to her as well as their own queen. Others protested, but the wasps promised to enforce the decisions of the court regarding ownership of the property in the event the others did not fall in line. So for the next two months, on each day, a lone drone from each colony would bring a piece over to the wasp nest, which now covered the majority of the porch. Some became enamored by the bright lights of the flatscreen television and never made it back to their homes. Once again, the other colonies protested, but the wasps claimed that standing around the television was something insects did on their own free will. They could leave anytime they wanted.
As fall neared, none of them noticed the significance of the large, red pickup truck pulling into the house’s driveway. Men and women began unloading large equipment, and the air began to fill with smoke. The rest of the insects, safe on the ground, watched as all of the wasps slowed down, crawling around their sprawling mansion, unable to muster up a defense as the massive structures were taken down. The television was loaded into a truck, the SUVs were driven away, and the rest of the bugs cheered as cleaning crews dismantled the large structure across the front façade of the house and danced on the corpses of the wasps who fell to them. The celebration spawned tales and legends still passed down in those colonies. When a couple moved into the newly renovated subdivision a couple months later, there was no evidence of the wars that had been fought—nothing but the tales the other colonies would tell themselves.