Songolo Bee Reserve is one of National Bee Reserves in the country declared to be a bee reserve through a Government Notice Number 292 of march, 2021. It is owned by the Central Government under care of Tanzania Forest Services Agency.
Location and legal status
This crucial reserve is found in Chemba district - Dodoma region. Chemba district lies between 5° 14′ 34″ S and 35° 53′ 24″ E with general altitude ranging from 1200 to 1500 meters above sea level. Songolo National Bee Reserve (SNBR) lies between 748691 and 745532 Easting and between 9414689 and 9410285 Northings coordinates. There is reserve survey map Job No JB 2938 of 2019. It is reached by rough road via Kwamtoro village (division) to a distance of about 144 km from Kondoa town Southwest and about 104 km from Chemba town westwards.
The reserve is bordered by Baaba village forest reserve to the East and West, Sanzawa village forest reserve at it's South and Baaba village northwards. It covers an area of 1056 Ha (10.56 Km2) with a boundary length of 12.751 Km.
There are three types of vegetation that ranges from woodland, shrubs and herbs with much significance in terms of conservation of biodiversity. Throughout most of Songolo bee reserve, undercover vegetation form irregular trees, shrubs and herbs. This area is dominated by Brachystegia spp, Andensonia digitata and different species of herbs which has great influence on bees and beekeeping matters making the area ideal place for establishment of a Bee Reserve.
Dominant tree species for Songolo include but not limited to Acacia tortillis, Vitex doniana (Black plums), Andansonia digitata (baobab trees), Brachystegia spp (miombo), shrubs cover is dominated by Acacia Senegal (Gum Arabic tree), Dombeya burgessiae (pink wild pear), Grewia bicolor.
The herb cover is dominated by Bidens tripartita L. and Commelina erecta, Commelina b enghalensis, Commelina africana, Bepharis linarifolia pers, Merculiaris annua (annual mercury), Coreopsis verticillata (threadleaf coreopsis), Bidens tripartite, Angeratum conyzoides (tropical white flower), Blechum pyramidatam(browm blechum), Crotaloris pallida aitonv(smooth crotalari) , Leonotis nepetifolia ( klipp dagga), Limon astrum monopetalum L, Chenopodium strictum roth, Veronica spp. Vegetation mentioned above provide shelter to small mammals, birds, reptiles and insects.
Most of these plant species produce flowers which secrete nectar and others produce pollen or both nectar and pollen. This makes such area potential for beekeeping as one of key economic activities.
Communities surrounding the reserve predominantly belonging to Sandawe, Barbaigs and Nyaturu ethnics engaging in livestock keeping, agriculture, poultry and beekeeping as well which form main activities for their livelihood. Originally the Sandawe and barbaigs were hunters and gatherers for their subsistence.
The reserve offers good opportunities of carrying out research and learning to various scholars and students as well as demonstration on beekeeping matters to communities and private people. However, Api-tourism related activities is a subjective matter which can be created.