Benecia Colony, also known as Benecia III or just "Benecia" is a Federation colony world. It was originally appropriated to the Ariolo in the 23rd century. It has since expanded to include many species in a population of over 500,000.
The third planet in the Benecia system. The planet is class-L, with an oxygen-neon atmosphere containing levels of carbon dioxide tolerable for humanoid life. It has a mean solar distance of 270,600,000 kilometers. The surface area of the planet is 44% land and 56% water. The rotational period of the planet is approximately 22 hours 2 minutes.
First charted by the starship USS Archon in late 2166, the Benecia colony was founded in the 2250s by the Ariolo. Federation members, the colony operated as a Federation protectorate. Starting with a colony of 2,400 Ariolo in a marshy valley, the colony began to prosper and invite more colonists from other worlds. As part of a trade agreement, an equatorial jungle was offered to the Xindi, inviting them to colonize it and operate the colony jointly with the Ariolo and the Federation. The Xindi accepted this offer, and in 2263 sent a colony vessel of 1,400 Xindi-Insectoids to found a city-structure on the surface.
By the 2270s, the colony had a population of nearly 5,000 Ariolo, and 3,200 Xindi-Insectoids. A small Starfleet communications base was placed on the planet in 2271, operated by a staff of five officers. Various reasons soon led to a immigration influx. In 2272, severe weather conditional shifts on Midos V led to a flight of nearly 10% of the colonies population, many of which settled on Benecia and consisted primarily of Rigelians. By the 2280s, the Xindi-Insectoid population had built and improved ties with the Ariolo, and a colony of Xindi-Aquatics were also invited to colonize a neighboring sea.
During the 23rd century, the colony had sub-par medical care for a colony of its size. Faced by repeated funding and construction issues, a fully-capable hospital, meant to replace the small-scale medical centers, was constructed in 2296.
By 2300, Benecia was still a slowly growing colony compared to other Federation successes. The 2300 Federation Census marked the population as approximately 175,000 - consisting of 90,000 Xindi-Insectoid; 35,000 Ariolo; 15,500 Xindi-Aquatic; 12,500 Rigelians and assorted others. The Benecian Art Gallery gained sector-wide fame as a tourist location during the 2310s.
The Starfleet base was remodeled in 2322 and expanded, adding a shuttlebay and now requiring a staff of 30. Its location, relatively near the Talarian border, soon became an issue. During the Galen Border Conflicts of the 2350s, its security became a higher priority. Starfleet presence in the system increased exponentially, where once a starship would pass through only a handful of times a year - suddenly dozens of starships visited per week to monitor Talarian activity. Shortly thereafter, Starfleet built a Subspace Relay Station in the system. The Starfleet Corps of Engineers designed a large scientific research observatory on one of the moons in the system. As the Talarian conflict died down, Starfleet converted the observatory (long believed to be a listening post) into a full-scale monitoring station that kept tabs on the Talarian border.
During the latter part of the 24th century, the Benecia colony had fairly little involvement in intergalactic affairs. Its continuing growth as a small Federation colony, was approaching a population of 500,000 in 2372. During the Dominion War, Benecia operated a Topaline mine in its southern polar continent. Sizable quantities of Mizinite existed on the planet, yet it went unmined. Mizinite was used by the Dominion; however, not particularly used by Alpha Quadrant races. A small worry existed that the Dominion might plan to seize the planet for the ore, but Starfleet considered Benecia safely protected.