NO TO HBO: The University of Iowa turned down HBO’s request to film segments on the UI campus for next season’s “Girls,” a popular series that follows young adults living in New York City. During its season-three finale on March 23, the main character, Hannah Horvath, was accepted to the famed Iowa Writers’ Workshop. And one of the show’s staff writers, Sarah Heyward, is an alumnus of the UI’s MFA in English program, esteemed internationally for its Pulitzer Prize winners, U.S. Poets Laureate, and National Book Award winners. UI officials cited a policy of not allowing filming on campus because it’s disruptive and said the plot involving the UI “casts the university in a negative light,” with no further explanation. That still leaves us wondering if the story line would have negated the potential extra attention on the great programs at the UI.
WINTER BITES BEES: Put honey bees on the list of creatures who endured extra suffering during our unusually long and cold winter. Iowa bee experts estimate that about two-thirds of the state’s honey bee population didn’t survive. Beekeepers who make a living say bees have been dealing with pesticide problems, a growing colony collapse syndrome, increasing lack of diversity in the plant environment and more parasites to fight over the past couple of decades. That makes them more vulnerable during an extreme winter. An average winter honey bee loss is 15 to 20 percent in Iowa.Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org or (319) 398-8262