Specialists say [the unusual number of large nests] could be the result of ... queens forcing worker yellow jackets to enlarge their quarters so the queens will be in separate areas.
Entomologists also put some of the blame for the invasion on a new, more aggressive species of wasp from northern Europe. The Germanica variety swarms in much bigger colonies than the native California yellow jackets. Instead of 150 to 300 workers capable of stinging, a nest of the German intruders can have 5,000 to 6,000. They also are more belligerent, say insect experts, although yellow jackets are not the most friendly airborne insects even on their best days.
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