image by archi-lab

bumblebee – dynamo and excel interop

image by archi-lab

Welcome to my latest development called Bumblebee – an Excel and Dynamo interoperability plugin that vastly improves (in my opinion) Dynamo’s ability to read and write Excel files. This development would’t happen without help and previous development from David Mans at NeoArchaic, of which this Bumblebee not only takes its name but a lot of inspiration and code. The plan is that eventually improvements and changes that were implemented here will find its way to Grasshopper’s version of Bumblebee and they will become one. Until then, Dynamo users rejoice!

Of course you can get Bumblebee from Package Manager and unlike my previously developed Mantis Shrimp there is no tricks to getting it installed. It will automatically drop a handful of components to your packages folder in Dynamo directory. For specific instructions on how to use each one of the components and what is possible to achieve with each one of them you can refer to Bumblebee Primer: BB Primer



To download BumbleBee from Package Manager just search for it by name:


Here’s an example of Bumblebee in action:

Most basic functionality that Bumblebee (BB) will support is reading Excel files. It allows for reading either an entire document or a specific range from it. Ranges can be created in a variety of ways where you can choose an origin and extents or only either origin or extent. Each way has its unique advantages for users and in general offers a lot more flexibility than OOTB Dynamo Read Excel node. You can even read more than one Worksheet at the time. Awesome!

Besides extended reading abilities, BB was also well educated in writing. It can write data to single sheet but also to multiple sheets as well as to single sheet but starting from multiple origin points. What was previously not possible – leaving blank rows while writing data – is now very much possible.

All of this enhanced writing abilities comes from the idea that you can send “pockets” of data to excel and define an individual origin or even a sheet name for each. All this is done using a new class called BB Data so you can do stuff like this and write multiple sheets at once. Double awesome!

Also, BB now supports an array of conditional formatting styles. For those of you that use Excel extensively you know that you can really quickly use formatting styles to highlight certain aspects of your data sets. Now you can set formatting rules right from Dynamo and do some amazing things – highlight missing information or incorrectly provided information.


Now, that is pretty cool if you ask me. Finally a tool that I can use to visually verify my data and keep my Excel loving PA’s happy.

Also, I am super happy with something that a friend of mine – Adam Sheather – has developed as courtesy to me. I asked him if it was possible to improve the currently available color selection in Dynamo and he has responded with the coolest (1990s Excel style) Color Picker. Now packaged under UI++ will come super handy for Bumblebee users and many others – especially now that Dynamo supports color preview. Thanks Adam!

Of course this is not the end of Bumblebee, this is only the beginning. I am releasing it now to public so that more of you can get your hands on it, and break it. Yes, I hope that you break it, only so I can improve it. It’s an open source project with all source code available on GitHub: BB GitHub, so I am hoping that all of you can contribute as well. Please feel free to post comments and issues to GitHub as it makes it easy to track development and tasks.

Also, Bumblebee Primer is an Open Source project with all of the files on GitHub. Same rules apply here. Please feel free to post comments there or develop new functionality.

Right away I can say that my next development will be adding Charts to Bumblebee, but before I get there i will probably be working on material for my ACADIA workshop. :-) I will provide more details about that as everything crystallizes.



  1. Chris Baze says:

    This is great! It will be especially helpful for a project that I am working on where I am trying to create a whole bunch of search sets using excel sheets as the input. Next step: trying to figure out how to make my custom “create search set” node.

    • Chris,

      What is it that you want to search for? There is a node in Bumblebee called Search Value Get Row that will search for a first matching value and will extract an entire row that this value was found in. This might be handy in the context that you are describing.

      Good luck!

  2. Amin Ghali says:

    Really awesome !
    Thanks Konrad

  3. Sylvester Knudsen says:

    Hi Konrad
    Thanks for sharing your awesome work!

    I was just testing it out, but i cant seem to get the write excel to work!
    i’m following your example, and then trying to feed the BB Data’s data inpunt with a list of room areas.

    When i run it with my excel file open i get an error (see attached) but when i close the excel and then run the dyn. it goes through, but it erases all the excisting data in the worksheet.

    Cant figure out where i’m goinig wrong, hope you can help!

    • I replied to you via email. Just to make sure that everyone else gets the response I am posting it here. I removed the “clear content” functionality when overriding already existing excel files. I assumed that you would want to clear all before writing a new set of data. Instead i will be publishing a new node for that.
      The issue of having to close excel to write. Yes, that is the case at the moment. I will be publishing a new node that will allow you to override live/open files.

      Good luck!

      Ps. Download latest Bumblebee from Package Manager to see this change. Thank you,

  4. Justin says:

    shame on me, I haven’t even tried the package, but just read your post and want to know if you can read / write a key schedule?

    • Bumblebee is for reading and writing Excel files. Key Schedules are a totally different can do that with other nodes in archi-lab package. not bumblebee though

  5. Andy says:

    Hi Konrad,

    Firstly, I’d like to say a massive thank you and give a “high five” for your work to date. It has saved me, and countless others massive amounts of time, while making Revit even more practical and enjoyable.

    Secondly, I’m using your Bumblebee nodes. They work great, however I’m wondering if it’s possible to read and write to / from excel at the same time without causing a circular reference / loop.

    I change the “Width” parameter in Revit. Using the Bumblebee Live Write Excel node, the “Width” updates in Excel. I then change the “Width” value in Excel. Revit updates the “Width” parameter using the Bumblebee Read Excel node.

    I’m not sure if this is possible but it would make my current much more practical and streamlined. I plan on running it in automatic mode.

    Thanks again,

  6. mramsay says:

    I can’t get the BB node to work with a newly specified sheet name. It works if I choose an existing sheet name or default sheet name (Sheet1) but not if I specify something else. Great tool but i could use some help with this.


    • Care for an image with the set-up / error? I will try to help you but i will need a little more info. This seems to be working fine on my machine.

      • mramsay says:

        It’s a big definition so I captured some of the relevant space. When I try to use the BB Data node and specify an new (does not exist) sheet name the definition fails to run. I get the error at the write node that says “something went wrong”

        When I specify sheets that already exist in the xlsx it works. I’d like to generate the names new and not have to rely on there being an existing xlsx with sheets.

        ALSO, since I have you, is it possible to write to two write nodes, one specifying by column, one not by column, but both referencing (using) the same xlsx doc? It was working but now it seems to be a little broken.
        Thanks for your help. Great Package!

        Attachment:  ModelQueryNew.png

        • Please update Bumblebee to latest from Package Manager. It has been updated recently with new functionality. This might have been fixed.
          You probably don’t want to write to the same document at the same time from two different sources. Just like with regular Windows UI it would tell you that a document is already open and will offer the “read only” method. I can suggest that you put a time delay on your components so that one doesn’t start until the other one already finished. You can probably use Function.Compose for that.

          Good luck!

  7. Hi Konrad,
    First off I think this package is amazing and am continuously impressed by your work!!
    This is probably a silly question but I can’t find an answer anywhere. What I want to do is apply a Graphic Style, specifically a text style but my excel document wont update with it. I tried combining the function with the BB Data node but that created an error. See attached.
    What do you connect the Graphic Style node too? All reference images crop that bit off :)

  8. Pat says:

    I’m currently using the most up to date version of your excellent bumblebee package (2015.10.12).
    What I am trying to do is write 8 different lists to a single excel sheet.
    If I collect all of the lists into one large list using List.Create and pass that master list through BB Data, everything works fine.

    But If I try to pass each sublist through their own BB Data node first, and then do a List.Create, I can an error.

    In some of your examples I’ve seen the data being written to excel handled both ways. So I’m just curious as to what I am doing wrong.

  9. Joe says:

    Can not get my “Search Value Get Row” node to work. See attached image. Working on:
    Bumblebee 15.11.10
    Did I do something wrong?

    Attachment:  Capture.jpg

    • Joe,

      You are doing couple of things wrong. First I think I mentioned in the Bumblebee Primer not to use the Get Worksheet Name and Read Excel nodes together like that. They are both trying to access the same session of Excel and will cause errors. Also, I think that SearchFor input accepts a list of strings, instead of a single one. I might be wrong about that.

      • Joe says:

        Thanks for the help. I’m still getting a “null” value after removing the “get worksheet name” and creating a list of strings. See attached image. Any other ideas? I’v check spelling and caps.


        Attachment:  Capture2.jpg

        • Can you share that Excel file? Also, learning how to debug properly will help you greatly in the future. All you have to do, to see what the error message is: Double click on the node, copy/paste the Python node inside of it back onto the canvas. Now you can wire up the Python node, just like you would the custom node, but it should return the error message. This might prove invaluable when working with Dynamo.

  10. Joe says:


    “Warning: IronPythonEvaluator.EvaluateIronPythonScript operation failed.
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “”, line 24, in
    ImportError: No module named bumblebee”

    File was to big to attached. Ill see about this in the morning.

    So nice of you to help. Thanks again.

  11. Ali says:

    I am trying to export Schedules to Excel. I want to export the schedules i have already created in the Revit project out to Excel and cant seem to get it to work. Any ideas?

    • Yeah you can go to File>Export>Reports in Revit. No Dynamo needed.

      • Ali says:


        Yeah, i was wondering if i could use Dynamo to do this. Doing it the manual way is very tedious when i have a lot of schedules in the project. I was hoping to be able to automate the process without the use of other addons.

  12. Diego De La Rosa says:

    Has anybody found a way that I can insert an Excel schedule directly in Revit. I do not want this schedule to be linked to any Revit elements. Any comments are greatly appreciated.

    • Yeah there is a way. You can use a tool called Sticky by Imaginit. If you don’t want to spend money on it, you can code it up yourself. I will tell you that it takes some fancy cell splitting in a key schedule. :-) good luck!

    • there is also schedule XL that is part of the CTC BIM Project suite, revit express tools. less pricey as you get many other useful tools. Coding is free, and time consuming, but so challenging

  13. Ben Martin says:

    Hi, I am trying to write a number of lists to excel using your bumblebee write excel nodes. The live write node works perfectly as expected but using the write excel with file path node always return “null”. The file path link links to an existing file and I have tried running with and without the excel open first. Do you have any suggestions why it may not be working?
    Dynamo version:
    Bumblebee version: 2016.3.29
    Thanks in advance.

    Attachment:  Capture-1.jpg

  14. Kelly Justin says:

    Hello Konrad,

    Have you experienced a situation where you upload bumblebee and the live.write.excel node is not within the package? I’ve managed to download the complete package on my desktop computer, but when trying to install in a laptop the node is missing. Both – desktop + laptop – have the same versions of revit [2015] and excel [2010].


    • Kelly Justin says:

      Well, for some reason the live write excel.dyf was not transferring during the download on my laptop. I fixed the problem by transferring the dyf file from my desktop to my laptop. Now, the node is in the dynamo package on my laptop.

      Great work, by the way….

      • Kelly,

        I think that I have discontinued this node in the latest build of Bumblebee. Right now, you can “live read” an Excel file using the regular Read Excel node if you don’t provide filePath input. It will automatically check for an open session of Excel if there is no FilePath input provided.


  15. Jason Parker says:

    I tried installing BumbleBee this week for Dynamo build and the DLL is not included. Thru a thread I found on other users said they had to install a 6/15 build to get it to install so I followed suite. This was the only package that would work on gethub!

    After messing around some, and playing with my new BB nodes, they’re simply not passing data. Output of anything with a BB is Null even when just pushing strings. (I have your exact screenshots from this site shown, my data tabs all say “Null”.

    I cycled all of the Booleans between true and false, nothing matters, nothing different regardless of the “RunIt” node or “by column” and the result doesn’t change at all.

    Don’t mind the mess of the included screenshot, lots of Dynamo going on around the test nodes for BB. All nodes, including Dynamo build # is shown in the capture.

  16. Jason Parker says:

    With Dynamo 1.0, you can’t install any of the versions of Bumblebee made this year! I had to install the oldest package still available (6/15) to get the nodes available.

    All off the BB nodes are not passing data, Null output even building the simple test you show in your explanations.

    I attached a screenshot (Don’t mind the mess around the BB test, I’m hoping BB can offer a solution to my “Write to Excel” that can either write a table, or at least preserve a table and write to the cell value. Current Dynamo node to Write to Excel with Overwrite values on physically deletes the page, and any formatting, or hidden formulae in the cells.

  17. Jason Parker says:

    Latest build of Dynamo ( will not install the latest version of BumbleBee. Thru tips on people are using the 6/15 build as the only functioning build!

    Well with 6/15 installed, none of the Bumblebee nodes work. Even with the test example you show above, the outputs of all the BB nodes are null.
    (I’ve tried uploading an attachment of the screenshot attached, but the website has errored/failed on my post 3 times now with an attachment. I can email you more info if you’re interested, but there’s no link to email you, or the webmaster I could find either.

  18. Zach Thomas says:

    Hi Konrad,

    Big fan of your work. I know you can generate new excel sheets within a single excel book, but I was wondering if your package has the capability to create an entirely new excel book?

    I would like create a new excel file each time I run, but not overwrite old data, and would like to build this step into Dynamo if possible. My hesitation with creating a new sheet in the same excel file is that the excel file will quickly get very large.

    Thank you in advance!

    • Have a look at the node called “New File By Template”. It’s not doing exactly what you need, but I think you can make small changes to it and get it to work. Good luck!

      • Zach Thomas says:

        Thank you, Konrad.

        I am running into the attached error on this block.

        Also, the block is writing a unique file for each letter of the file name, rather than one single file with the full name.

        Not seeing what I am doing wrong.

        Attachment:  IndexError.png

      • Zach Thomas says:

        Never mind, I realized it was looking for a list not a string.

  19. Ben says:

    While trying to write something into an excel the “write excel” node gives back that “os is not defined” (line 138). I tryed several versions of bumblebee now, getting back the same erorr again and again.
    Bumblebee: 2017.11.2
    May you please help me to fix it?

  20. Josh H says:

    Latest build for Dynamo 1.2 does work with excel 2007 which I have on my laptop but works fine when I’m in the office. In fact they don’t work using read excel ( from the office node) either. 1.2 seems to not talk to that version of excel.

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