Son of the god Apollo and the water nymph Cyrene. Aristaeus was a bee keeper, and one day, all of his bees mysteriously died. He asked his mother for help, and she told him that he would have to capture the sea god Proteus. This was a daunting task, as Proteus could change into a number of different forms, and Aristaeus would have to hold him captive throughout these metamorphoses. Aristaeus headed for the sea and captured Proteus, not letting go until the god relented and agreed to help. Proteus told him to make a sacrifice to the gods and to leave the remains at the sacrifice location; he was to return to examine the carcasses after nine days. Aristaeus did so, and on the ninth day, he found one of the carcasses filled with a swarm of bees.
E2 Dictionary of Classical Mythology