Although most golden age masked men had origins explaining their powers, even if said origins were rather flimsy. However, there were those exceptions that 1.) weren't masked and, 2.) just came upon their powers through apparent osmosis (or rather plot contrivance).
Within the story, it appears that crime fiction author Vince Harley gained the ability to mentally control wasps of the variety that he named himself after as the Yellowjacket. And what of his miniature minions?
According to Wikipedia: "Yellowjacket is the common name in North America for predatory wasps of the genera Vespula and Dolichovespula. Members of these genera are known simply as "wasps" in other English-speaking countries. Most of these are black and yellow; some are black and white , while others may have the abdomen background color red instead of black. They can be identified by their distinctive markings, small size (similar to a honey bee), their occurrence only in colonies, and a characteristic, rapid, side to side flight pattern prior to landing. All females are capable of stinging which can cause pain to the person who has been stung. Yellowjackets are important predators of pest insects. They have a lance-like stinger with small barbs and typically sting repeatedly, though occasionally the stinger becomes lodged and pulls free of the wasp's body; the venom, like most bee/wasp venoms, is primarily only dangerous to those who are allergic, unless a victim receives a large number of stings."