After hiking at Waterloo State Recreation Area near Chelsea, Michigan a few weeks ago, I returned to my car to find this eastern yellowjacket (Hymenoptera: Vespidae: Vespula maculifrons). It was licking up some dried tree sap that had dripped on the window.
Like most other adult bees and wasps, these yellowjackets feed on nectar and other sugary fluids. With winter closing in, this individual was approaching its last meal. Nearly all of these wasps die in the cold except for new queens. They hibernate and start new colonies in the following summer.
This is one of the most common yellowjacket species in eastern North America, being highly adaptable to a variety of natural and urban environments. All they seem to require are nesting sites and food.