I am an MRes student studying the dynamics of social hierarchies in Polistes dominula. Previous work on this species has shown that, following the removal of a dominant founder, there is a rapid spike in aggression of the rank 2 as she seeks to cement her place as the replacement dominant, followed by a gradual decay in her rate of aggression over the next few days. The former rank 2, now the new rank 1, will often fiercely defend her position should the old rank 1 return, often resulting in combat between the two. My research tests the hypothesis that foraging efficiency of the entire nest decreases during these phases of high aggression, which may reduce the benefits to the rank 2 or other individuals of attempting to challenge the status quo. My project involves video analysis to measure rates of aggression and foraging success before and after the removal of the rank 1 individual, testing the consequences of hierarchy disturbance on foraging behaviour in a cooperative species.