Phager was born to Apollo and a nymph named Othreis. He became a pastor in his early life. When his half brother Meliteus was born (a son of Zeus by his mother), Othereis exposed her child to the elements, in fear of drawing the wrath of Hera. The boy, however, was nurtured by bees and thus survived. He was soon found by his half-brother Phager, who was pasturing his sheep in the neighborhood.
Impressed with the child being nurtured in such a marvelous way, as well as having reckoned a prophecy that told him to take care of his relative nourished by bees, Phager adopted and raised Meliteus. When Meliteus grew up, he founded the city Melite in Phthia.