As mentioned yesterday, the wasps are demolishing my home sliver by tiny sliver. These images show how the yellowjackets form balls of shavings of the wood. After moistening the timber, they scrape up the top layer with their mandibles, and then secure the load between their forelegs and head. I assume they use the ill-gotten load to build mansions of their own. (I have looked and looked, but not found any nest anywhere…)
These are German wasps (vespula germanica), as far as I can tell; I believe we also get visits by Common wasps (vespula vulgaris), and on rare occasions we see paper wasps (polistes sp.).