Perma-WHAT? Planting for Pollinators



Perma-WHAT? is a series of posts that highlight some of what I am doing and would like to do better in the field of permaculture. I am presently raising funds to enroll in a permaculture design program this September. If these posts speak to you, you can help me out by donating at my GoFundMe campaign page. Thanks for reading! [Update: fundraiser is over, thank you to all who supported!]

Permaculture is about creating new ways of living (and especially eating) sustainably that take their cues from cycles and systems found in the natural world. While this alone is a great set of values, I see also a potential to design our cultivation systems as sites of mutual aid between humans and other animal and plant species. Cooperation between species happens all the time in nature, and it's a theme I'd like to carry into my permaculture design work.

What Do the Pollinators Need?


One relationship I am particularly passionate about is how our present day agricultural and economic systems are failing pollinators. Our industrial-scale choices are not only having deadly consequences for honeybees, but for wild bees and other pollinator populations as well.

Read more: Support Wild Bees

Lately I've picked up this hobby of designing bee hotels, but I want to do more than that. Pollinators needs us to think about the impact of our insecticides (like tick sprays and seed-coating sprays) and backyard honeybee farms. They need us to plant smart to attract pollinator populations to areas where they can effectively work and not be exposed to harmful chemicals or other man-made ecological disasters. And the struggle of their lives is tied up too in the struggle of native plants local to us.

Observing (And Designing For) Interconnection

Permaculture design shouldn't be limited to creating a more sustainable world for humans. If we take our cues from nature, we see a complex system that has never been just about one species at the expense of all others. The work I want to do involves designing with this complexity in mind. The resilience of humans is tied up in the resilience of bumblebees, wildflowers, and all parts of our planet’s pollination networks.

If my ideas speak to you at all, please consider donating any amount you can spare to help me enroll in a permaculture design program beginning this September. Thank you and thanks for reading!


Pat Mosley (NC LMBT #16882) is a licensed massage and bodywork therapist in the Winston-Salem area. His work is rooted in compassionate touch, permaculture, and deep ecology with the resilience of all Earth's children in mind. Connect with him via email to